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.
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