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Stephen Strasburg to debut June 8

For everyone -- his fans, his soon-to-be Nationals teammates and, perhaps most of all, Stephen Strasburg himself -- the wait is nearly over. Strasburg, the phenom regarded as maybe the best pitching prospect of all time, will make his ravenously anticipated major league debut on June 8 at Nationals Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Strasburg will make one more minor league start, at Class AAA Buffalo for Syracuse, before joining the Nationals for good. He has mostly made a mockery of the minor leagues, going 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA with 60 strikeout in 50 1/3 innings. He has one week left as a minor leaguer, one week left before he fulfills an aim his towering ability may obscure.

"One thing we want to remember about Stephen Strasburg is he's a phenomenal talent, but he's also still a kid," said Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams, the first member of the organization who played catcher with Strasburg in Viera, Fla. after he signed last summer. "Any kid that dreams about playing baseball in the big leagues can't wait to get there."

As pitching coordinator, Williams has helped craft Strasburg's schedule with General Manager Mike Rizzo. But for his first major league outing, Williams had little say. "Mike and the powers that be, that was their target date," Williams said.

Strasburg has thrived while remaining humble and receptive. ("My wife could probably coach him," Williams said. "That's how talented he is.") He excelled at, to use his term, living in the now. Back on May 12, after he no-hit Class AAA Norfolk for six innings, he admitted that coming so close the majors had made that tougher at times.

The Nationals had at one point planned on Strasburg making his debut June 4, according to two sources with knowledge of those plans, but the Nationals changed the debut day for an unknown reason, perhaps because catcher Ivan Rodriguez landed on the disabled list.

With his start date settled, the next question surrounding Strasburg's schedule will be, when does he stop pitching this season? The Nationals use a formula as a guideline for how many innings their young pitchers throw in a given year, Williams said. They take 20 percent of the previous year's innings and add that to the total from the previous. Using Strasburg's innings from college, instructional leagues and the Arizona Fall League, Strasburg's target innings for this year, minors and majors combined, comes out to about 160.

Strasburg, again, has thrown 50 1/3 minor league innings with one start to go. That would leave him about 95 innings to pitch in the majors. The Nationals, though, do not use their formula as a hard-and-fast limit.

"If we feel a guy is getting tired, we're going to slow him down before he hits that 20 percent," Williams said. "If we feel a guy can go a few more innings than that 20 percent, we'll change, too.

"We're trying to win a championship in Washington. Our job is to protect the products of the organization as best we can. We've done a good job from an organization standpoint from top to bottom. We'll continue to monitor him."

Assume the Nationals use roughly the 160-inning guideline. If Strasburg averages six innings per start, Strasburg would make about 15 starts and see his season shut down at the end of August. If the Nationals, currently .500, remain in contention, determining Strasburg's schedule could become a fascinating and welcome dilemma for the Nationals.

All of that, though, is far away. For now, Strasburg and everyone else who waited for him to start can know, barring injury or weather issues, when his major league career will begin.

"The bottom line on the deal is, he probably could have made the big league club out of spring training," Williams said. "I think the seasoning factor is a big deal. It's been tough for the organization to do the right thing going about it. We just felt this was the way to go about it. You got to have a plan, and we had that plan."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 7:04 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Messiah is coming.

Posted by: elijah383 | May 31, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Well my second round of ticket guessing paid off...that'll make the June 4 game even more fun!

Posted by: HenryStin | May 31, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

He's not a phenom yet, especially with the DC curse hanging over his head.

Posted by: Playitagainsam | May 31, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

So checking weather.com Buffalo has a 40% chance of rain on Jun 3 his last minor leauge start so there is a chance that his start might get bumped back to the 4th putting his debut probably on the 9th i wont be able to make it since ill be in colorado hopefully it will be on mlb network or espn

Posted by: geai | May 31, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead. Buy tickets for June 8. Then see if Strasburg starts.

Posted by: angelos_peter | May 31, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Nats already screwed up once by not debuting him on the sold out june 4th date, no chance they do it again. Just bought 12 tix for June 8th right off the Nats site...was surprised they were still available.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse


Does the brass of the Nationals think that Strasburg is their ticket to the playoffs?

What's the rush?

He'll likely get slammed, start overthrowing and then blow out his arm.

Why not let him learn to throw to major league batters first.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | May 31, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Can hardly wait for June 8. The Pirates are going to be over matched. Wild Card here we come.

Posted by: jeremybozz | May 31, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

@ Angelos_Peter

Really now Peter thats the best name yoocan think of. Baltimore now thats a record i can smile about. It makes me so happy to read there box score everyday day.

Posted by: geai | May 31, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm in but the Nats web site is being flooded. Took my 3rd choice but still nice seats. If you don't take what comes up the first time you may get shut out.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 31, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, the Learners know better than to play with my emotions again. The kids will play on the 8th or there will be a riot in DC at Nats Park.

They already made a boat load off the first false sighting, let's not make this a habit.

Go Nats!!!

Posted by: ajb1094 | May 31, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they are going to reserve a lot of seats for a new 4 game flex plan. You get four games total - two regular price, the Stras game for twice the price (!) and a bonus game for free.

Fine with me if they want to use Strasburg as a carrot to get people to more games. And this will make it at least a little more difficult for scalpers and speculators to buy one off 6/8 tickets.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

OK, the Learners know better than to play with my emotions again. The kids will play on the 8th or there will be a riot in DC at Nats Park.

Posted by: ajb1094 | May 31, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

If the Johnny Come Lately's are going to criticize the Lerners (like the rest of us), they can at least spell their name correctly.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Stephen Strasburg. Can't wait to watch your debut on June 8. And the good news is we finally will get something else to read about besides Obama and the leaking oil in the Gulf. As for you Oriole haters. You all have fallen into our trap. The O's will rise again and you all will be calling stub hub for my tickets. PatientOriole

Posted by: PatientOriole | May 31, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Nats already screwed up once by not debuting him on the sold out june 4th date, no chance they do it again.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

They didn't screw up, they can call him up whenever the f they please. No Pudge? No start. Hangnail? No start. Scalpers, Red Sox fans and fairweathers bought tix for the 4th on a rumor - and they'll still get to watch baseball if they are actual fans. Though scalpers will eat a ton of seats and the Park will be a quarter or more empty.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I think you can be assured that the Nats will be very careful with Strasburg. So get your tickets now while you can...

Posted by: bromisky | May 31, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok everybody happy now? hopefully this will be the start of a great career,sounds like he's grounded, not full of himself and has had the benefit of MLB HOF'er/ college coach(Tony Gwynn Sr.)and good parenting. The next question is who gets dropped from the rotation?

Posted by: dargregmag | May 31, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It seems that JD Martin gets dropped from the rotation while Olsen is injured. However, once Olsen comes back, I would think that Stammen goes to the bullpen. At that point, either Tyler Walker or Miguel Batista walks the plank.

If we ever get any news whatsoever on the progress of C-M Wang, we might know when the question of who leaves the rotation will have to be asked again.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | May 31, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Nats already screwed up once by not debuting him on the sold out june 4th date, no chance they do it again.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

They didn't screw up, they can call him up whenever the f they please. No Pudge? No start. Hangnail? No start. Scalpers, Red Sox fans and fairweathers bought tix for the 4th on a rumor - and they'll still get to watch baseball if they are actual fans. Though scalpers will eat a ton of seats and the Park will be a quarter or more empty.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

They certainly did "screw up" by "screwing" over a whole lot of fans who purchased tickets to the June 4th date. Considering that they allowed the June 4 rumors and speculation to persist for weeks without saying a word and the moment the game sold out, they decided to change the date to the following series. Only an incredibly naive fan would believe the Nats did this for any reason other than to sell more tickets. This had nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with money. If the Redskins and Dan Snyder had pulled a move like this, the Post and its readers would be going nuts.

He should have debuted on a weekend like they originally planned, not a mid week game.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Considering that they allowed the June 4 rumors and speculation to persist for weeks without saying a word and the moment the game sold out, they decided to change the date to the following series. Only an incredibly naive fan would believe the Nats did this for any reason other than to sell more tickets. This had nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with money. If the Redskins and Dan Snyder had pulled a move like this, the Post and its readers would be going nuts.

He should have debuted on a weekend like they originally planned, not a mid week game."

Are you still complaining? My god, GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!

The date June 4th wasnt rumored for weeks. In fact, Steinberg documented how fast tickets went for the 4th when the rumors started circulating. Further, SEVERAL highly respected writers stated they thought is would be against Pittsburgh. Kurjikan has said for a month that the date would be the 8th.

Stop being a little girl and get over it.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 31, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wll whataya know, the Nats got their 2 sellouts on the homestand and they only had to pitch Strasburg once. Not bad ay?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 31, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Nationals should have gone out of their way to stop people from buying tickets to watch their team play. Great strategy! They run a business, not a public service noticeboard.

Buyer beware. I have no sympathy if fairweathers and scalpers didn't get to cash in on media speculation.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

...but if he's pitching against Lastings Milledge, can it really be considered a "Major League" debut?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | May 31, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey im going to call that Strasburg luck and the game on the 3rd in buffalo gets rained out and his final minor leauge start is on 4th and debuts on the 9th. Anyway I wish i could be at all the games anyway. Ill be in Colorado. Go NATS!!! Hope yall sweep the series!!!

Posted by: geai | May 31, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Who is in charge when Strasburg pitches for Syracuse. If its not Jewitt their manager, who from the Nats decides when to pull the plug? Anyone know?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 31, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

If anyone cares, looks like the great Jeff Karstens-- yep that Jeff Karstens is pitching Tuesday for the Bucs. 1-1, 4.78 era. Nice.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 31, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Nationals should have gone out of their way to stop people from buying tickets to watch their team play. Great strategy! They run a business, not a public service noticeboard.

Buyer beware. I have no sympathy if fairweathers and scalpers didn't get to cash in on media speculation.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I've had season tickets for the first 5 seasons the Nationals have been in DC, how bout you Kev? Financial situations among some members of our group prevented us from renewing this year. Guess that makes us fairweathers.

You are an imbecile.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Nationals should have gone out of their way to stop people from buying tickets to watch their team play. Great strategy! They run a business, not a public service noticeboard.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 31, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I can tell you didn't major in business. It's bad business to anger your customers for a short term financial gain.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Stop being a little girl and get over it.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 31, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Being a little girl? When you spend $500 to buy tickets expecting to see Strasburg debut only to have the team turn their back on their fans in order to sell out another game, you have a right to be p**sed off. Sure, there was some risk. But this fan didn't think the Nats would dare move him to another date once June 4th sold out after weeks (yes, weeks, you idiot) of rumors printed in this very paper that he would debut on that date.

I don't really understand people on here giving a hard time to those of us that spent a lot of money on tickets to the June 4 game, especially in this economy. Do these same people stand outside casinos and point and laugh at those that come out having lost money? Yeah, it was a risk and you knew it going in...but no reason to try to rub it it unless you are so miserable you enjoy trying to make others as miserable as you.

This isn't going to bankrupt me personally, but I'm sure some of the people that bought tickets paid an arm and a leg to see Strasburg and now thanks to the Nats, they won't be able to afford paying twice. Like I said, only a truly miserable human being would take pleasure in making fun of them.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Barno...relax, man. Now seriously...how much are you really out on Nats tickets? The organization has absolutely no responsability to negate any rumor out there about any of there players...especially one that would cost them money.

You, sir, are an idiot.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 31, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

>>I can tell you didn't major in business. It's bad business to anger your customers for a short term financial gain. Posted by: Barno1

Barno, as Dibbs would say, layin down some smackum yackum!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 31, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Barno...relax, man. Now seriously...how much are you really out on Nats tickets? The organization has absolutely no responsability to negate any rumor out there about any of there players...especially one that would cost them money.

You, sir, are an idiot.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 31, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Got to love the guy calling someone else "an idiot" while spelling the word "responsibility" with an "a". What are you, a 7 year old?

Posted by: Barno1 | May 31, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

you spending 500 dollars to see Strasburg is on YOU. Take some personal responsibility.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 31, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Way to spell-check, Barno. You got me good. Are you done crying now?

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 31, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

June 8 is Lannan's scheduled start. So it looks like he got the short end of the stick and with Monday off, he'll be pitching next on 6 day's rest. That'll be interesting. Martin's last start will be this Thursday and then he's gone. And then Ati or Stammen are either bullpen bound or gone when Olsen returns. And where is Wang? Is he even throwing or is he done for the year?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 31, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

you spending 500 dollars to see Strasburg is on YOU. Take some personal responsibility.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 31, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Of course it's on me. It was a risk, as I've already acknowledged on this blog and a previous one several times. When the game sold out, I thought there was no way the Nats would have the nerve to move the planned date of his debut in order to get a second sellout without having him pitch a second time on the homestand.

I stand by my belief that this was not good business, as a lot of fans like myself know that the team did this for a short term financial gain which had nothing to do with what was best for Strasburg and the team. And again, if Dan Snyder and the Redskins had done something like this, the Post and its readers would be going nuts over it.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Naugatuck-Nats, I assume you are either a young child or English is not your first language. Am I correct?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

You buy a ticket to watch the Nats because you want to see them win, no matter who's pitching.

Which brings me to this point: Isn't it great how the Nats have done well against top-flight pitchers, three times now when it looked like they'd fall under or not get back to .500 -- Lincecum, Zito and now Oswalt. This is a real good sign.

Let's go, Nats!

Posted by: nats24 | June 1, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Naugatuck-Nats, I assume you are either a young child or English is not your first language. Am I correct?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2010 12:26 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ahh, no. You are not correct. As I stated earlier...you, Sir, are an idiot. If blowing off steam in here is what it's gonna take to make you feel better about it, fine by me. I hope you enjoy the game on the 4th.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 1, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

So honeslty i just realized ill be in night school on the eight i hope his start somehow gets postponed so i can see it live on tv.
GO NATS!!!

Posted by: geai | June 1, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Link to weather forecast for Stratsburg start in Buffalo on Thursday

http://www.weather.com/outlook/events/sports/weather/tenday/14203?eventid=332634&epc=WXSP&role=

Posted by: geai | June 1, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

@dargregmag:
I certainly don't want to rain on the parade, as I am feeling pretty good about the Nats, but a note from history: the '61 expansion Nats split their first 60 games.

That team had nowhere near the talent of this one. If these Nats split their first 60 games, I'll be pleased, but 3 or 4 games over would be good, too.

I don't want to be a dreamer, but if the Nats stay close and the phenom wins 9 or 10 games (as Stottlemyre did for the '64 Yanks), hey, maybe...

The Nats have three guys with 10 or more HRs, The Hammer and Zim are way up there among the leaders, and Guz is the top hitter for average (until Ethier qualifies again). With Nyjer back on track, the offense can click.

Oh, it's hard not to be optimistic!

Posted by: nats24 | June 1, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Glad Strasburg arriving, but I don't get the choice of date.
Looks like Strasburg will pitch on schedule, Lannan will go on two extra days rest, and the rest of the rotation picks up after that with one extra day of rest.
Seemed a better option to me (and yes, I'm a dope) to have Lannan go the 8th on one extra day, Strasburg the 9th on one extra day, and the rest again after that on one extra day.

Our guys normally have 4 days between starts.
Strasburg will have 4 days.
Lannan will have 6 days.

Wonder if it's got more to do with how Riggleman wants to line up the rotation?

Regardless, all good.
Over the next two weeks we add Pudge, Strasburg and Olsen we hope.
Maldanado goes down, and the other two choices will be interesting.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 1, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barno, I did major in business (Cum Laude) and worked in pro sports. Let me 'splain something to you: Major League teams cannot and will not tailor their plans to speculation in the press. If they did, there would be chaos and the Oscar Madisons of the world would be de facto running ball clubs. The Washington Nationals Baseball club, for all of their faults. have ZERO responsibility to counter rumours that appear in the papers. This particular rumour netted them a sellout. I assisted by buying 4 $60+ tix for 6/4. I am disappointed but I will still drive my 480 mile round trip to watch the game on 6/4 and will stay for the 6/5 game as well because I support the TEAM. Does this make me a martyr? Nope, it makes me a fan. You sir, are a bitter fool (in this matter), and your gnashing of teeth, rendering of garments and wailing about how the Nats ripped you off make you look even more the fool. You purchased tickets to see a major league baseball game. The Nats owe you nothing more and nothing less. You will get what you paid for and the Nats will have fulfilled every promise that they contractually made to you upon your purchase of the tickets. If you are that whiney and miserable a person, and must point fingers at others to somehow validate and absolve yourself of your responsibility in getting suckered by media speculation, well you must certainly be a great role model for your kids. Go stand in line and buy some $5 tickets on the 8th, add the total to the $500 spent and divide by 2 games. The average price of your tickets will be a bargain and you can perhaps feel less violated. Sheesh.

Posted by: Natstoyou | June 1, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

May I be the first on this site to praise Nats for starting Stras against Pirates on June 8? This will be invaluable preparation for competition against MLB clubs.

BTW, don't believe June 4 game has been sold out: plenty of tickets available!

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 1, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Suppose, for a minute, we give the Nats a pass on June 4. But, once they did decide to make an official announcement for June 8, would it have been unreasonable to ask they they start out by giving season ticket holders at least a few hours to buy additional tickets or, in my case, to buy tickets for a game that's not on my plan? Instead, what's the first thing you see? "Straburg to pitch on the 8th, buy your Flex Plan now!" And who gets all the best seats? The brokers and speculators. I'm afraid, now, that I have to agree with those who say they're trying to milk every cent they possibly can out of Strasburg.

Posted by: fluffy4 | June 1, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

for those speculating on the potential of stras being rained out on thursday, don't sell short the idea of the nats being rained out on Friday. as of now, a 50% chance of thunderstorms on Friday.

Posted by: sec231 | June 1, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Point taken on the weather, but major league games rarely, if ever , get totally washed out anymore. Fields are better, improved drainage systems, and they just go out of their way to get them even if it’s a 5-hour game. So Fridays game’s isn’t gonna be in jeopardy based on a chance of t-storms. It would probably take a an all-day deluge – especially since, as we all know, it’s close to a sell-out. The minor league game on THUR is a different story.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | June 1, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Ok, maybe I'm the idiot, but can someone explain this to me?

"Using Strasburg's innings from college, instructional leagues and the Arizona Fall League, Strasburg's target innings for this year, minors and majors combined, comes out to about 160.

Strasburg, again, has thrown 50 1/3 minor league innings with one start to go. That would leave him about 95 innings to pitch in the majors."

So they're planning on him pitching 14 2/3 innings in his final AAA start?

Posted by: fuglynats | June 1, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Adam Kilgore wrote:
"Strasburg, again, has thrown 50 1/3 minor league innings with one start to go. That would leave him about 95 innings to pitch in the majors. The Nationals, though, do not use their formula as a hard-and-fast limit."

If the Nats plan on having Strasburg pitch about 160 combined innings in 2010, and with him already having pitched 50 1/3, and with his set to pitch 6 innings or 95 pitches, whichever comes first, then someone really sucks at math.

With the numbers we already know, and if 160 combined innings is the target, Strasburg would pitch closer to 105 innings at the Major League level, not 95. (160 minus 56 1/3 = 103 2/3)

Posted by: KenzAFan | June 1, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

fluffy4,

my friend has a plan and says that he will get the chance to buy tickets Wednesday

Posted by: arizonacardinalsfan1 | June 1, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

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