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Stephen Strasburg's spring education

In three days, Stephen Strasburg will again get to do his favorite thing: pitch. His Sunday start remains on schedule despite the rain, and it promises to bring significantly less hoopla than his Tuesday debut. Between then and now, Strasburg will fire between 40 and 45 pitches in the bullpen and play long toss each day.

This is only educated speculation, but that might actually be the last time we see Strasburg in a major league game this spring training. His next day to pitch would be the 19th, when the Nationals play the Yankees at their place in Tampa. At that point, the Nationals will be 16 days away from Opening Day. They will need to stretch out their entrenched starters and figure out just who will the back of their rotation. There may not be enough innings to go around to let a pitcher who by all appearances will begin in the minors continue taking his turn in the rotation. Don't be surprised if Strasburg heads over to minor league camp sometime next week.

During his start Tuesday, Strasburg showed why he's not long for the minors. Afterward, he seemed more relaxed than he had been throughout the spring.


"It's the easiest thing to talk about," Strasburg said. "It's something I've been doing for a long time. I've had a lot of experience. This whole experience is new to me. I've been pitching for pretty much my entire baseball career. That part of this whole experience hasn't changed."

If Strasburg's time on the major league side of spring training is indeed about to expire, then he'll miss being around his teammates. One of Strasburg's favorite things about this spring has been interacting with and learning from them.

"It's good to just see how guys go about their business," Strasburg said. "Hopefully, I take a little bit something from everybody here and help my game get better. A lot of the things that I've learned so far don't really have much to do with the actual game of baseball. All the guys say, this is just the same game. I'm going to go out there and do what I've done my entire life.

"There's a lot of things outside of playing. It's preparing a certain way. It's how you conduct yourself in the clubhouse, how you conduct yourself with the media. Just knowing your place and knowing your role. A lot of the guys have given me a lot of good information on that. It's basically how to act and become a professional baseball player. It's a little different. In college, we're just a bunch of amateurs out there. This is a job."

Jason Bergmann, sitting at his neighboring locker, kind of chuckled at the phrase, "We're just a bunch of amateurs." I asked Strasburg how much he hates lockering next to Bergmann.

"It's been pretty bad," Strasburg said before he leaned back and laughed. "It's been great, honestly. He has an amazing wealth of knowledge."

"Definitely print that," Bergmann said, joking.

"And he has about 9,000 movies that he just gave me from his hard drive," Strasburg said. He looks forward to watching them on road trips.

(Later on, Bergmann said not to print the "amazing wealth of knowledge" quote because it's not true.)

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 11, 2010; 4:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

If I were Bergmann, I might be more worried about your printing that he had 9,000 movies on his hard drive and gave copies to Strasburg...

Posted by: Section222 | March 11, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So nice that Bergy has a movie for each Nationals fan.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

How many of those movies will help Strasburg cope with pitching on a perennial loser of a baseball franchise.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 11, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I had the same thought as 222 on reading that. What are we, the Pirates? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

For real 222. Expect a follow up from the MPAA inquiring about that.

Posted by: Stu27 | March 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Touche' 1a !! Rrrrrraaaaaarrrrr!!!

Posted by: Section222 | March 11, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad you liked it, Matey, uh, 222. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are playing the Cards on the 19th at home. So the schedule says at least.

Posted by: softballgirl | March 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

How many of those movies will help Strasburg cope with pitching on a perennial loser of a baseball franchise.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 11, 2010 5:46 PM
___________________________________________

What???? Was he traded to Baltimore????

Posted by: TimDz | March 11, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he was looking at the wrong Friday on the calendar. I've done that.

Re. the movies, maybe the SS comment was a little rookie-hazing payback for Bergmann? I would think that a couple of smart guys like them would know better than to do that.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

And, nice, TimDz. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

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