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Stephen Strasburg's next start

As his major league debut presumably draws near, Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his next minor league start for Class AAA Syracuse June 3 at Buffalo, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said. The Nationals have made no indication when Strasburg when make his first Nationals start, but it seems likely his next minor league start will be his last.

If Strasburg remains on a once-every-fifth-day schedule, he would make his next start June 8 -- a start that could be his major league debut at Nationals Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A report on the Nationals officials Web site last week said the Nationals are tentatively planning for Strasburg debut to come between June 8 and June 10.

The June 3 minor league start also ensures that June 4 won't be Strasburg's debut date. The Nationals at one time had tentatively planned to make Strasburg's first start June 4, according to two sources with knowledge of the team's plans. But they changed the day for an unknown reason, perhaps because of catcher Ivan Rodriguez landing on the disabled list.

On Thursday, the Nationals plan to have Strasburg throw 95 pitches or six innings, whatever comes first. In his start last night, Strasburg lost for the second time and yielded his first home run in the minor leagues. Strasburg allowed three runs on five-plus innings while allowing six hits and two walks and striking out six. Strasburg has a 1.43 ERA in 50 1/3 innings in 10 minor league starts.

Dave Sheinin contributed to this report.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 30, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
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Next: Willie Harris becoming odd man out


My guess is the June 9 game. But there are so many variables, plus stuff can happen tween now and then, so my guess is indeed, a guess.

But the road trip should finish out with:
30th @ SD - Livo
31st @ HOU - Atilano
1st @ HOU - Stammen
2nd @ HOU - Lannan
3rd @ HOU - Martin (and Strasburg should pitch this day, day game, in Buffalo)

Then we return home:
4th v CIN - Livo
5th v CIN - Atilano
6th v CIN - Stammen

And then the wild card, an off day on the 7th.

So, what to do on the 8th, home v PIT?
Send in Lannan, with one extra day rest?
Or send in Strasburg, on schedule?
If you throw Strasburg, then Lannan goes the next day, with 6 full days between starts? I don't think so. Plus, holding Lannan back to start Strasburg is not the way the Nats seem to like to do things (respect the veteran, have the rookie accommodate).

So, Lannan on the 8th, with one extra day of rest.
And Strasburg on the 9th, with one extra day of rest.

Skip the turn of Martin (likely sending him to SYR to take Strasburg's spot in their rotation), keep Olson rehabbing, and come back the 10th with Livo with an extra day of rest.

Anyway, this is how I wasted 15 minutes this morning.

From there, Olsen's health and effectiveness is the next issue to consider. Stammen and Atilano become candidates for demotion or the bullpen at that point.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 30, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This guy is money in the bank. Do not be greedy. Take care of him and he will issue many returns. Rush him for the crowd and you could lose him (like Kerry Woods/Chicargo Cubs). I like the future of the Nats. Grew up a Yankee fan.

Posted by: BILLNEWNATFAN | May 30, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I like that analysis sunder. now all that remains to be seen is which choice the nats make, keep lannan on schedule or SS

Posted by: Rogueone | May 30, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The big question is if Stras will be limited to 100 innings in the majors by contract. That is the rumour I have heard repeatedly, and if it's true, it explains why Stras is still in AAA and Drew Storen is with the big club. The Nats are hanging in there in the NL East, and maybe they're perfecting Strasburg's stuff to help take them to the post season, considering his 100 inning limit. With Drew Storen and Matt Capps in the 'pen, Stras in the rotation might be the edge the Nats will need down the stretch for the Wild Card.

Posted by: FrankieFlave | May 30, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll be glad when SS starts in the bigs, because then I'll not have to read any more breathless speculation as to the date of his debut. Whatever date they land on, they need to base the decision on what's best for the kid and the team, not the fans, imho.

And not to play down his talents, but he's just one guy, who will take the ball every five days. Also, I *believe* that he'll have more than one start for the team this year, so if I don't catch the "Maaain Eeeevent," then I'll see him at another of the games to which I already have tix for the rest of the season. I can live with that.

Last but not least, welcome to Bill. We'll give you a pass on rooting for that other team, seeing as how you grew up with them. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 31, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Read an article on a few weeks ago about how hyped rookie pitchers fare their first year in the majors. Dont expect him to be Doc Gooden. Expect him to be Roger Clememns. He will strike out a lot and have good stuff, but he's gonna get knocked around as he adjusts to the bigs. I don't think he is likely to be a difference maker in the playoff race, but I do not think he will be a hinderance either. Ching-Ming Wang is the difference maker. Strasburg is the bonus if he pitches better than most rookies. Need another bat and need Nyjer to start getting on base. Then we can start winning some games.

Posted by: jmurray019 | May 31, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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