Well it's finally official! The Washington Nationals' top pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft is ready to pack his bags and leave Syracuse for our Nation's Capital.
Stephen Strasburg will make his first start in the Major Leagues Tuesday, June 8 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Vice President and GM Mike Rizzo made the announcement Monday.
What more can Strasburg do at Triple-A Syracuse? Obviously not much. He will get one more start for the Chiefs before bidding farewell to his teammates.
Even as I hit my computer keys, I can almost hear the phones ringing off the hook at the Nationals ticket offices. Look at the numbers Strasburg generated during his time in Syracuse. When Stephen pitched, they came, and they came in over-the-top numbers.
So what are we looking at for June 8? A sell out? Sure, why not! Every time this young guy takes to the hill at Nats Park the numbers should go up. It's gonna be nice, but everyone has to keep in mind that there will be nights, hopefully not many, where he may not have enough in the tank to record a "W". He is just 21.
As we look down the road still to come, with the return of Scott Olsen, Ross Detwiler and Jordan Zimmermann, the likes of the rotation could undergo some major changes. Get Pudge Rodriguez off the DL; keep Zim swinging a hot bat along with Cristian Guzman, and we see big improvements in the offense. Nyjer says he has finally got Dr. Freeze off his Twig and looks more comfortable in the number two hole. Morgan responded nicely against Houston on Memorial Day with some nice base hits and a pair of stolen bases.
Right now the NL East is up for grabs. Philly and Atlanta have changed places at the top of the standings. If the Nats can hang in there until some key pitchers return, and if Strasburg turns out to be what everyone expects, these next four months will be very interesting.
I like what I see! The ballclub is in almost every game, and there have been no major blowouts. Last season the ballclub didn't win its 26th game until July 11! These days it sure makes going to the ballpark and watching on MASN the most enjoyable since the team landed in DC in 2005.