SAN FRANCISCO - Stephen Strasburg talked to reporters a few minutes ago about his rehab from Tommy John surgery, which appears to be nearing its home stretch. Strasburg is throwing three bullpen sessions a week, 30 to 40 fastballs at a time, and while he hasn’t been permitted to throw breaking pitches yet, he’s building up strength in his right arm.
“The idea is to put great stress on the new ligament,” Strasburg said. “It’ll pick up a little bit every week. I’m not really sure what’s going to be in store for me next month, or the month after that. We’re just taking it one day at a time, one week at a time.”
Nationals coaches haven’t put a radar gun on his fastball yet - the goal is to make sure he’s throwing with proper mechanics - but Strasburg said everything is on schedule with his rehab.
And as he continues to work out in the Florida heat, passing his free time by seeing “pretty much every movie that’s out there,” playing golf and taking up fishing, Strasburg comes up on the one-year anniversary of his first start in the major leagues. A year ago tomorrow, the right-hander pitched for the Nationals for the first time, striking out 14 batters in front of a sellout crowd and catapulting himself into stardom.
Strasburg picked out a few details he remembered from the night - Steve McCatty tipping his cap while walking out of the bullpen with Strasburg, as though the attention was for him, and the shaving cream pie he got after the game. “But as far as everything that went on during the game,” Strasburg said, “that was all a blur.
“It was an amazing experience,” Strasburg said. “My goal right now is to get back to 100 percent, go out there and fill up the stadium like I did on that day.”