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No date planned for Stephen Strasburg's debut

General Manager Mike Rizzo reiterated the Nationals have not set a date for Stephen Strasburg's first major league start, bristling at the fact that several media outlets, including The Post, have floated June 4 as a potential and/or likely date for the debut.

"That hasn't been decided yet, although you did announce that he's pitching on the 4th," Rizzo said. "No, that hasn't been determined yet. There are factors that will be involved when we announce it. And even when we announce it, it's not going to be settled on until after a couple days after he starts his last start in Triple A."

Strasburg will make his next minor league start Saturday at Class AAA Syracuse. Last night, Strasburg threw only 52 pitches in five innings, which the "very specific plan" Rizzo laid out called for, he said. Rizzo and pitching coordinator Spin Williams predetermined Strasburg would throw between 55 or 60 pitches, but when Strasburg finished the fifth with 52 pitches the Nationals didn't want Strasburg to start the next inning and then pull him.

"His stuff was teriffic," Rizzo said. "Getting hit around, I guess the bar is extremely high for him. I saw some of the balls that were hit around on him. He pitched great. Stuff was good. He handled everything great."

Strasburg, pitching on a professional schedule for the first, has remained strong, Rizzo said.

"He's been great," Rizzo said. "He's a diligent worker. He works his butt off physically. He prepares terrifically. He's a big, physical guy. I think he's held up terrificly. For his first taste of this on an everyday basis, I think he's doing great."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 25, 2010; 9:15 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Next: Saturday starter will be Matt Chico or J.D. Martin


Funny that Rizzo is pretending like he has a say in the decision.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 25, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

They pulled him early yesterday so he can pitch a pro-like game on Saturday without the rigid 70 pitch limit. That's the last step before they move him up. He's pitching for the Nats on the 4th.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | May 25, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

what a load of crap, it may not be "decided", but they sure as heck have a plan.

Posted by: DCguy7 | May 25, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: fischy | May 25, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

$13,667 for the Straburg 1/1 baseball card on eBay with 4 days to go.

Glad some folks have that much money to spend.

Posted by: nats24 | May 25, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Nats have already decided when they will have him debut, they owe it to the fans to announce it already. But they won't, and they enjoy that media are floating June 4 because ticket sales for that game are already high. Since I am one of those suckers I'm sure they'll pull a fast one and start him during the mid-week Pirates series

Posted by: mmdc1 | May 26, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Saturday the 5th against Cincy, and then Thurs the 10th against the Pirates.

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | May 26, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

$13,667 for the Straburg 1/1 baseball card on eBay with 4 days to go.
Posted by: nats24 | May 25, 2010 11:53 PM
Brings to mind the old saying "A fool and his money are soon parted."

Posted by: shanks1 | May 26, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The 4th makes sense, but the 8th makes more sense. Pudge is slated to come off the DL on the 7th.

Posted by: hansenjo | May 26, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

June 8 is much better: Pittsburgh Pirates.

Posted by: NNevada | May 26, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Actually, waiting until June 5th would be a smart move financially for the Nats. June 4 is already practically sold out, but if they move him to the 5th that game would sell out as well. And they still get to pitch him on June 10 vs. the Pirates. The Nats get 3 sellouts instead of 2.

Posted by: HistoryBoy | May 26, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, there will be no “official” word from the club until after SS’s final AAA start this weekend. Look for something Monday or Tuesday?

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter to me whether its the 4th or the 5th or the 10th -- just so long as it's HERE. Sally Jenkins speculated today that the Nats might start him in San Diego because they may need him on the road trip and also because it's his home town. If the Nats do that, we should scream bloody murder. Kasten already has shown little regard for FanBase Loyalty: he's been on radio to invite out-of-town fans to come here, and reserved entire blocks of seats for out-of-towners on Opening Day. For once I hope Jenkins is off-base.

Posted by: tommyg2230 | May 26, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

No way SS starts in San Diego. As it is, even if the Nats are in contention for a wild card, they will shut him down in early September as part of their long range plan. The club is looking at 2011-2012 to make a major push for the playoffs.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 26, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It's always smart for a team to leak a proposed date for advance ticket sales. My guess is that a Tuesday will be his first start in a Nats uniform. Not sure which Tuesday...

Posted by: rleverrier | May 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I agree with some of the others – we don’t know the official debut date yet, but it ain’t gonna be in San Diego.

And Jenkins is always off base.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Rizzo never bristled at the 4th before, until it was practically sold out. The 4th has been mentioned for weeks but he gets mad now. Good timing eh. How rich.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I love the cynicism here, b/c the Nats' ownership deserves it. If they do well on the roadtrip, sales will go up for all the early June games anyway. Starting him on the 4th yields a sell-out of mega proportions (benefits that go way beyond just revenues) and promises two sure starts in what should be fan-friendly weather. Conversely, if they come home with their tails between their legs, he's as good an antidote as anything else we got to start off the homestand. Despite Rizzo's sputtering, the 4th makes sense.

Posted by: tommyg2230 | May 26, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is nonsense. The Plan? It's become a joke. Why the secrecy? Are the Brewers going to steal it? Does Rizzo have some special formula on developing pitchers he plans to copyright? This is about a debut of a baseball player not the capture of a terrorist or winning a Nobel Prize. Get a grip Rizzo. And if he starts his career in some other city than Washington that would be a slap in the face to all Nats fans.

Posted by: interactingdc | May 26, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to the Nats to screw over their own fans and just to save a few bucks

They will hold back SS strictly to have ANOTHER DATE be sold out.

They are using the public to get more $$$

What a joke

Posted by: Bious | May 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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