Stephen Strasburg on throwing again
Stephen Strasburg met with the media this afternoon following his workout. I'm going to get cracking to keep my editors happy, but here are some quick hits:
>>>While Strasburg made his spring training debut today, he actually threw for the very first time on Jan. 31, out in Arizona. He had been using his right arm only for some physical therapy exercises, and the sensation of picking up a baseball for the first time felt a little odd.
"It was kind of a weird feeling," Strasburg said. "The ball felt almost too light. For the month before that, I was throwing a two-pound ball into a trampoline. And then you pick a baseball, you can't really feel it coming out of your hands. The first couple throws were bad, kind of low. Slowly, I started to get that release point back. It seems like every single time I go out there, my control is coming back a little better. More throws feel good. Hopefully, that keeps going that way."
>>>Pitching coach Steve McCatty has often stressed the need for Strasburg to take it slow. Strasburg is savvy and smart enough to understand and comply with that. But that doesn't mean he won't be frustrated by the waiting.
"It's tough," Strasburg said. "But they've been reiterating that fact to me the entire time. I need to pace myself, not rush into things. I'm not going to go out there and do something stupid that could jeopardize how fast I'll be able to come back. I'm just going to do what they tell me to do."
Without rushing himself, Strasburg could still feasibly return in time to pitch in the majors this year. He had his Tommy John surgery on Sept. 3 last fall, and recovery takes 12 to 18 months. So if Strasburg is a fast healer -- as Jordan Zimmermann was -- then he could take the mound at Nationals Park in 2010.
"It's obviously a goal," Strasburg said. "But it's out of my control. All I can do is, like I said, is really just go out there and do the throwing program. Execute the schedule. If they feel like I'm ready to go out there by the end of year and pitch, that's going to be great. It's going to be a decision they're going to have to make."
The Nationals have not ruled out Strasburg pitching this year, McCatty said, but in no way will their decision on when Strasburg returns be informed by the circumstances at the end of the year.
>>>Strasburg emphasized his assurance when throwing, a confidence derived from the work he put in this offseason.
"If you saw the work that I put myself through this entire offseason, you'd understand that there's no apprehension about throwing a baseball right now," Strasburg said. "I feel good. My body is in the best shape I could have put it in this offseason."
| February 17, 2011; 3:22 PM ET
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