I know you’re probably tired of all the guesses at Stephen Strasburg’s arrival date in the majors, but I’m hearing the June 4 date that’s been widely speculated is not likely to happen.
From what I heard today, Strasburg is likely to pitch for Triple-A Syracuse on June 3 or June 4, putting his arrival at Nationals Park during the Pirates series the next week, at the very earliest. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson wrote that earlier today, and it jives with what I’m hearing. If the Nationals gave him an extra day after his next start on Saturday (which will be broadcast after the Nationals-Padres game on MASN, and replayed again after the Nationals-Padres game on Sunday), he could pitch for the Chiefs at home on June 4, instead of starting on the road on June 3. That would make a June 9 debut possible, and mean he’d make starts at Nationals Park and Camden Yards later in the month. A June 8 debut would put Strasburg at home twice during the Nationals’ next homestand.
I write all this with a caveat, though: Lining up Strasburg’s start is an extremely fickle process. It can be moved by rain, an extra day of rest or an injury, just like that. Think about how many times teams set their rotation at the beginning of the year, and pitchers are completely out of order a week or two later. The same thing applies here. It looks like June 8 or 9 is a good possibility, but it can change just as easily. So specifically, the caveat I’m using is ‘caveat emptor,’ or buyer beware.
In this case, it’s ticket-buyer beware, and take this with a grain of salt.