Stephen Strasburg, pitcher and Scott Boras client

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http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/03/stephen-strasburg-demands.html

ESPN.com's Peter Gammons heard from some club officials that top amateur pitcher Stephen Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras, could demand $50MM over six years if he's selected first overall by the Nationals in the June draft. If the Nationals pick Strasburg and seem unwilling to pay him as much as he wants, Boras could threaten to send the prospect to pitch in Japan for a year. If the Nats are scared off, the Mariners and Padres are next in line for Strasburg.

So how could an amateur player get away with these lofty demands? Strasburg has struck out 74 and walked only seven in the 34.1 innings he's pitched for San Diego State and scouts rave about his stuff.

Andy K, Sunday, 22 March 2009 00:18 (thirteen years ago) link

please please let that scare off the Nats

skamokawa WA (jergins), Sunday, 22 March 2009 00:20 (thirteen years ago) link

please please let it scare off the nats, mariners, padres, pirates, orioles & giants

boner state university (cankles), Sunday, 22 March 2009 00:31 (thirteen years ago) link

more like strassbung

velko, Sunday, 22 March 2009 00:33 (thirteen years ago) link

There is no way the Padres would pay that much, even for a San Diego guy.

Your heartbeat soun like sasquatch feet (polyphonic), Sunday, 22 March 2009 00:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Nobody is paying quite that much. That said he might manage to scare off everyone except the Yankees or the Red Sox and get something crazy from one of them. Strasburg is definitely going to be getting something in the eight figures.

Alex in SF, Sunday, 22 March 2009 16:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Striking out 2/3s of the batters you've faced is (o_O)

Alex in SF, Sunday, 22 March 2009 16:19 (thirteen years ago) link

TINSTAAPP

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 25 March 2009 17:22 (thirteen years ago) link

...a pree plunch?

(never mind, I googled it)

WmC, Wednesday, 25 March 2009 17:26 (thirteen years ago) link

amateur mechanics dorks (possibly the most annoying kind of baseball dork right now) are raising major red flags about this guy's delivery.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 March 2009 17:28 (thirteen years ago) link

possibly the most annoying kind of baseball dork right now

What are the other types. This should be a poll.

Your heartbeat soun like sasquatch feet (polyphonic), Wednesday, 25 March 2009 17:50 (thirteen years ago) link

ha ha - do it!

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Wednesday, 25 March 2009 21:03 (thirteen years ago) link

"amateur mechanics dorks (possibly the most annoying kind of baseball dork right now) are raising major red flags about this guy's delivery."

These guys are guessing.

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 25 March 2009 21:10 (thirteen years ago) link

under no circumstances can this end well

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 25 March 2009 21:11 (thirteen years ago) link

message board dorks?

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Thursday, 26 March 2009 00:16 (thirteen years ago) link

;)

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Thursday, 26 March 2009 00:16 (thirteen years ago) link

These guys are guessing.

totally otm. i don't know how many times i've read about chris o'leary and the "inverted w" (why is it not just called the "m"?) and how all these pitchers are doomed. i'm not sure if it bothers anyone that chris o'leary is at best an amateur physiologist who got started in this field by watching his son play little league.

strasburg's mechanics could very well be bad but these gloom and doom motherfuckers are stabbing in the dark.

call all destroyer, Friday, 27 March 2009 19:51 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

No-hitter w/ 17 Ks against Air Force

Tito Linndrum (Andy K), Saturday, 9 May 2009 16:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Hopefully Strasburg will be better than Brien Taylor, another high priced blue chip Scott Boras client.

Leif. (Z S), Saturday, 9 May 2009 16:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Well Brien Taylor was a) a high schooler and b) hurt himself in a bar brawl so I think the comparison kind of falls apart after the Boras thing.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 9 May 2009 19:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Okay 164 SO vs 17 BB over 87 innings is just fucking silly. Obv college competition is kind of variable, but this guy is clearly on another level.

Alex in SF, Sunday, 10 May 2009 03:52 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

So uh how excited is everyone for the draft? I usually care more when my team picks higher than 36th...

mayor jingleberries, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 18:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I can't wait for the Padres next bonehead draft pick.

Who is your favorite Padres first rounder:

2008 Allan Dykstra
2007 Nick Schmidt
2006 Matt Antonelli
2005 Cesar Carillo
2004 Matt Bush arggggh
2003 Tim Stauffer
2002 Khalil Greene :(
2001 Jake Gautreau
2000 Mark Phillips
1999 Vince Faison
1998 Sean Burroughs (LOL)
1997 Kevin Nicholson
1996 Matt Halloran
1995 Ben Davis (awesome clothing, bad catcher)
1994 Dustin Hermanson (traded before he did anything)
1993 Derrek Lee (traded as a minor leaguer)

Your heartbeat soun like sasquatch feet (polyphonic), Tuesday, 9 June 2009 18:55 (thirteen years ago) link

A veritable whos who of wtf is that guy

mayor jingleberries, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 21:16 (thirteen years ago) link

four months pass...

from Goldstein at BP:

Strasburg AFL debut done. 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. 50 pitches, 32 strikes, The non K outs (8) were all on ground balls.

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 17 October 2009 03:00 (twelve years ago) link

six months pass...

Strasburg to make AAA debut Friday

ESPN.com news services

Stephen Strasburg is one step closer to the majors.

The Washington Nationals promoted the 2009 No. 1 overall pick to Triple-A on Wednesday. He will make his debut for the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday against the Gwinnett Braves.

The 21-year-old Strasburg dominated Double-A competition going 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts for the Harrisburg Senators.

He struck out 27 batters and walked just six in 22 innings.

Strasburg was called up despite having the roughest outing of his young career on Sunday. He gave up six hits and four runs, three of them earned, in 4 2/3 innings against Altoona. He struck out four, walked three and hit a batter while throwing 49 of 79 pitches for strikes.

Strasburg signed a record $15.1 million, four-year contract with the Nationals last year. Barring a setback, he is expected to make his major league debut next month.

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 4 May 2010 17:59 (twelve years ago) link

they should send Heyward down just for that game

sanskrit, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 19:20 (twelve years ago) link

I really hope this guy succeeds. I don't want to see another Ben McDonald or Brien Taylor

van smack, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 23:06 (twelve years ago) link

i hope he fails and puts an end to the ludicrous signing bonuses Boras is demanding.

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 00:21 (twelve years ago) link

On a chilly night in upstate New York, Strasburg tossed six dazzling innings for the Chiefs, allowing just two base runners -- on a single on a soft grounder up the middle in the fourth and a six-pitch walk in the fifth -- while striking out six in a 65-pitch gem. The groundball single by Gregor Blanco, in fact, was the only ball that left the infield against him, as Strasburg's two-seamed sinking fastball coaxed 12 groundouts.

To top off his performance, Strasburg also collected two RBI -- he is hitting .375 with four RBI in 10 plate appearances this season -- in leading the Chiefs to a 7-0 victory in front of an enthralled, sellout crowd at Alliance Bank Stadium.

....

The victory improved Strasburg's record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.29 in six starts across two minor league levels. He has struck out 33 batters while walking only seven.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/07/AR2010050705147.html

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 8 May 2010 05:51 (twelve years ago) link

so when can they call him up and get the extra control year?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 8 May 2010 13:09 (twelve years ago) link

I think it's early June, but they'd still have to limit his innings to some degree.

no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Saturday, 8 May 2010 17:23 (twelve years ago) link

gonna be in DC first weekend in june, maybe i'll get lucky w/ that

ciderpress, Saturday, 8 May 2010 17:24 (twelve years ago) link

no-hitter through six against norfolk in his second triple-a start

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 May 2010 00:48 (twelve years ago) link

He didn't give up a hit at all. Saw the boxscore.. he only pitched 6. RON VILLONE closed the final inning.

a streaker named desire (van smack), Thursday, 13 May 2010 03:47 (twelve years ago) link

VILLONE

a streaker named desire (van smack), Thursday, 13 May 2010 03:47 (twelve years ago) link

in two triple-a starts: 12IP, 0R, 1H, 13K, 2BB

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 May 2010 04:57 (twelve years ago) link

"i hope he fails and puts an end to the ludicrous signing bonuses Boras is demanding."

I think even if he falls apart at this point (which don't exactly look too likely) it won't end signing bonus escalations (which I am all for btw.)

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Thursday, 13 May 2010 15:02 (twelve years ago) link

well, even if it just impedes it a little!

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Thursday, 13 May 2010 15:54 (twelve years ago) link

his signing bonus isn't that ludicrous, especially compared to what certain veterans like vernon wells are making. he looks like the real deal. giving guys like matt bush a big bonus is rather less defensible.

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 May 2010 17:57 (twelve years ago) link

well that's the thing with signing a 17 yr old - is there is no guarantee. you could be getting a Joe Mauer or you could be getting yourself a Matt Bush. and throwing around that kind of money on a kid - "sure thing" or not - just seems crazy to me.

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Thursday, 13 May 2010 18:05 (twelve years ago) link

i sound like Riccardi.

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Thursday, 13 May 2010 18:05 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

June 8

Andy K, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 13:19 (twelve years ago) link

vs Pirates, so not really beyond AAAA

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 14:07 (twelve years ago) link

so BBTN was promoting ESPN carrying the game on Tuesday. As a day game.

The MLB/Nationals schedule pages have it as 7:05.

The fuckers aren't going to change it to keep it from eating into the NBA finals audience on ABC, are they?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 7 June 2010 11:29 (twelve years ago) link

I just got this like ten minutes ago, so I am guessing it is still 7:05.
http://i45.tinypic.com/xoma0z.png

C-L, Monday, 7 June 2010 17:56 (twelve years ago) link

that screen cap is some fucking goofus and gallant shit imo

Astronaut Mike Dexter (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Monday, 7 June 2010 18:52 (twelve years ago) link

well, NOW it appears ESPN isn't covering the game. Which means the Nationals had the right to say "fuck you" about changing the time, and ESPN said "No, fuck ppl who don't watch the NBA"?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 11:41 (twelve years ago) link

The Nats assuming they'll be in the playoff hunt for the next (say) 5 or so years as justification for not going all out to win kind of ignores the way the MLB actually tends to work

frogbs, Sunday, 9 September 2012 03:02 (ten years ago) link

unless you're loaded with young talent like the Nats.

kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 9 September 2012 04:54 (ten years ago) link

Well they have two of the best prospects ever yes but it's not like they're loaded with great under-25 talent. According to Fangraphs they only have three prospects in the top 100, one of which is Harper.

Look at playoff history. you assume the Nats are pretty confident in, say, two more playoff appearances over the next five years. that's actually pretty tough to do unless you're A) incredibly loaded (hence why the Yanks make it every year), B) in a weak division (hence why the Cardinals made it so often in the mid-00's), or C) the stars align and you wind up with something like the ridiculous Smoltz/Glavine/Maddux rotation that Atlanta dominated with. They're 19th in payroll, are going to be competing with Altanta for some time, and they have a lot of guys having career years right now, such as Gio, LaRoche (who is 32), and Desmond (who was OPS'ing like .680 over 1200 PA's before this year). As a Milwaukee fan, I know...things change a lot year to year, even if the team looks basically the same. They may well go on a run and prove everyone wrong but again, unless you're the damn Yankees its so hard to say "oh well, we'll be in it next year"

frogbs, Sunday, 9 September 2012 05:15 (ten years ago) link

also, I don't want to speak too soon on this but the fact that the Tigers have the 5th highest payroll and play in the weakest division (by far) and yet are still 2 games out says a lot about this kind of thinking. at the beginning of the season nobody would even consider that the Tigers would miss out on the playoffs. now B-P only gives them a 32% shot.

frogbs, Sunday, 9 September 2012 05:24 (ten years ago) link

at the beginning of the season nobody would even consider that the Tigers would miss out on the playoffs.

I considered it. The only "big splash" active-roster change made between '11 and '12 was the signing of Fielder, who replaced Martinez -- not much difference. They're only three games worse than they were at this point last year, and their differential is better by 26 runs.

The White Sox are seven games better. That doesn't seem all that crazy, either.

Andy K, Sunday, 9 September 2012 11:28 (ten years ago) link

You could say that the Rays had nothing to lose in 2008 because they were loaded with young talent and would have plenty of other chances to win. That might still be true, but you never know, the playoffs are a crapshoot.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 9 September 2012 15:08 (ten years ago) link

Neyer on the Shutdown:

"One thing I keep noticing, though, is this bizarre belief that if only Stephen Strasburg is allowed to pitch, the Nationals will win the World Series, or probably win the World Series, or maybe they won't win the World Series but they'll have a lot better chance with Strasburg than without him.

It's just not true. With Strasburg, the Nationals' chances of winning the World Series are somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Without Strasburg, the Nationals' chances of winning the World Series are somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. With him, maybe it's 12.8 percent. Without him, maybe it's 10.6 percent.

Most of the discussion seems to be centered around what the grounding of Stephen Strasburg means to the Washington Nationals. But I don't think all that many folks really care much about the Washington Nationals. I think most folks care about themselves; in this context, that means most folks really, really want to see Stephen Strasburg pitching in big games next month.

I want to see that, too. But not if it means I can't see him pitching next season, or if it means he won't be pitching brilliantly for the next 15 season. For a long time, the balance was swung far too much in favor of winning today. The Nationals probably haven't found the perfect balance. But if we have to swing a bit too far the other way, at least for a while, there are worse things."

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/9/12/3318308/stephen-strasburg-shut-down-washington-nationals

kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:29 (ten years ago) link

"Huh. Why is it that most people are neither as enlightened nor as selfless as me, Rob Neyer? You know, from time to time, I do think about these things." -- Rob Neyer

WHO said the Nationals WOULD WIN or PROBABLY WOULD WIN the World Series with Strasburg?

The negative reactions I've read have been no more complex than "The Nationals should use their best pitcher."

Andy K, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:19 (ten years ago) link

aside from the strawman, i mostly agree with Neyer.

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:19 (ten years ago) link

With Strasburg, the Nationals' chances of winning the World Series are somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Without Strasburg, the Nationals' chances of winning the World Series are somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. With him, maybe it's 12.8 percent. Without him, maybe it's 10.6 percent.

The numbers are probably right, but that's beside the point. The Angels could win the WS without Trout (if they make the playoffs), but why would they want to try? Any team could win a short series without their best player because baseball isn't basketball, one player doesn't make all that much of a difference especially over seven games.

Even using Neyer's numbers, you could say that even though their overall chances of winning the WS are low, the Nats chances are improved by 20 percent -- 100 x (12.8 - 10.6)/10.6 -- with Strasburg pitching, which is a LOT.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:50 (ten years ago) link

I think he might've been alluding to the Tim McCarvers of the world (is there more than one?).

kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:25 (ten years ago) link

Another big thing on Strasburg that I don't think is behind the paywall yet:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/shutting_down_strasburg/

clemenza, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:31 (ten years ago) link

i was gonna mention that pissing off your best player seems like a bad idea in general, the Nats should still be two years away from locking him up (if indeed they do)

frogbs, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:49 (ten years ago) link

This is easily the dumbest thing since Joba Rules.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 23:21 (ten years ago) link

Strasburg ERA: 3.16
Lannan ERA in one game replacing Strasburg so far: 0

clearly a disaster for the Nats

Sadly, 99.99 percent of sheeple will never wake up (I DIED), Thursday, 13 September 2012 04:45 (ten years ago) link

pissing off your best player seems like a bad idea in general

is Harper pissed off?

kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 September 2012 11:28 (ten years ago) link

Strasburg made his final start of the season five days ago, but already he has become antsy with no more starts to look forward to. During the Nationals’ series in New York, Strasburg has shagged batting practice in center field, mostly standing by himself.

“He’s been pestering (pitching coach Steve McCatty) about what he can do,” Johnson said. “Can I keep throwing off the mound? No. Can I play catch in the outfield? Yes. It’s pretty bad now, but it’s going to get worse. Because he’s going to be champing.”

Maybe he should get some reps behind the plate in case they need an emergency catcher! He could roll the ball back -- anything, as long as he doesn't use his arm.

Poor guy is going to Darren Baker himself during the playoffs.

Andy K, Thursday, 13 September 2012 13:13 (ten years ago) link

id been wondering abt what hes actually been doing

perfect time to start a tidy lil drug habit imo

johnny crunch, Thursday, 13 September 2012 13:15 (ten years ago) link

That's a really great article.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 13 September 2012 20:48 (ten years ago) link

eight months pass...

Strasburg out after 2 IP vs. Braves. Was shaking his arm and rolling his shoulders and neck between pitches. Pissed about having to come out, unsurprisingly.

Thank you for talkin' to me Williamsburg (WilliamC), Saturday, 1 June 2013 00:24 (nine years ago) link

He takes that ball EVERY FIFTH DAY.

Andy K, Saturday, 1 June 2013 00:29 (nine years ago) link

Maybe he slept on the ball last night.

Thank you for talkin' to me Williamsburg (WilliamC), Saturday, 1 June 2013 00:37 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

@jaysonst 10m
Not only was that the first time Strasburg had ever allowed a slam. It was the first HR he'd ever allowed with more than one man on.

Andy K, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 01:05 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

@ajcbraves
#Nats Strasburg now 1-2 with 5.79 ERA in 6 starts at Turner Field, with 24 hits, 15 ER, 15 walks, 28 strikeouts in 23-1/3 innings.

http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/08/18/081713-MLB-Nationals-Stephen-Strasburg-PI-AA_20130818021124840_660_320.JPG

"Peace out."

Andy K, Sunday, 18 August 2013 16:37 (nine years ago) link

i haven't been following it much, but from the videoclips i just watched, braves fans are complete assholes for cheering on as harper got hit by pitches. that's just fucking lame. i'm sure the washington fans cheered as their pitchers hit the braves hitters (well, maybe not - nats fans don't really know anything about baseball afaict)

Z S, Sunday, 18 August 2013 18:06 (nine years ago) link

here's the video, for those who haven't seen it: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130817&content_id=57330152&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Z S, Sunday, 18 August 2013 18:07 (nine years ago) link

awesome

J0rdan S., Sunday, 18 August 2013 18:11 (nine years ago) link

i don't think i've ever seen an ump throw a guy out while the ball was still in play like that

k3vin k., Sunday, 18 August 2013 19:15 (nine years ago) link

That was pretty weird looking.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Sunday, 18 August 2013 23:13 (nine years ago) link

getting beaned by stephen strasburg sounds very un-fun

J0rdan S., Sunday, 18 August 2013 23:30 (nine years ago) link

a few months ago there was a florida state league beanball fest going on between palm beach (cardinals) and fort myers (twins). a palm beach pitcher threw behind twins stud prospect miguel sano and both benches were warned.

sano obliterated the next pitch, paused his trot on the way to first to taunt the palm beach dugout, and was immediately ejected.

they let the homer/run count, tho i suspect that was technically not the correct decision.

mookieproof, Monday, 19 August 2013 00:21 (nine years ago) link

why not let the homer/run count? because he was ejected on the way around his home run taunt trot?

Z S, Monday, 19 August 2013 00:24 (nine years ago) link

you gotta touch all the bases, right? can you pinch run for a guy on his way around?

mookieproof, Monday, 19 August 2013 00:26 (nine years ago) link

What happened with Strasburg tonight? Was there a long rain delay, or did he hurt himself?

clemenza, Thursday, 29 August 2013 01:55 (nine years ago) link

The former.

Are they going to shut him down for the playoffs off-season?

Andy K, Thursday, 29 August 2013 02:11 (nine years ago) link

four months pass...

@injuryexpert
Report from @Holdenradio that Strasburg had bone chips removed this offseason. Feels good but that's a terrible sign longer term.

@injuryexpert
Re Strasburg, means he's likely slamming his olecranon with pitches. Insidious damage.

Andy K, Sunday, 26 January 2014 16:02 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

gettin paid

mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 May 2016 00:41 (six years ago) link

Yeah since when does Boras negotiate midseason? I guess anything is possible when there's an opt out clause involved.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 10 May 2016 07:57 (six years ago) link

Maybe he read the tweet Andy k posted just above

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 May 2016 11:40 (six years ago) link

I just stare @ the 2019 column *_*

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2016-payroll-salaries.shtml

johnny crunch, Friday, 13 May 2016 16:28 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

no hits allowed in 1st start back from dl, lifted after 6.2IP (4BB)

johnny crunch, Sunday, 3 July 2016 19:51 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

Nats medical staff might be headed by the same fellow who, as a gum-chomping ER bro in 2004, thought my wife's crippling pain -- which just happened to be located where she had an emergency C-section a few days prior -- was appendicitis.

Andy K, Friday, 9 September 2016 02:13 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

pretty sad article. he may be done. :(

this is a "gift link", so won't count against the Washington Post paywall/etc:

Stephen Strasburg gave his body to baseball. Now his future is a mystery.


...But since 2019, when he raised a trophy above his head — when his arms were only heavy because of the long climb to the top — Strasburg has not felt comfortable on a major league mound. And last summer, he literally gave parts of his body to baseball, having had a full rib and two neck muscles removed in a surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome that threatens his career.

He has not thrown a ball in more than three months. He’s not certain he will pitch again.

“I feel like every time I’ve had an injury, I felt like I was going to be the best there is coming back,” Strasburg, 34, told The Washington Post this week “ … This is the one that’s still definitely a big question mark.

“I realize the clock is ticking. It’s been almost three years since I’ve been able to pitch competitively, and it’s not like I’m getting younger.”

To explain how he got here, to the point of not knowing what’s next, Strasburg goes back to 2018. The first sign of thoracic outlet syndrome was lingering tightness in his neck. He spent time on the injured list. After the season, he visited a specialist, who injected Botox into his neck to shut down the muscles and alleviate built-up scar tissue.

Strasburg then had his best winter in years, wondering why he could do so many biceps curls and throw without an aching shoulder despite his extensive injury history. Even before the title run, he made more than 30 starts for the first time in a half decade. He felt that maybe, just maybe, there was new life after all his health complications. But lurking beneath the surface, lending doubt whenever Strasburg stretched his neck or shook his right hand, was so much wear and tear on his neck, shoulder and the rest of his prized arm.

The coronavirus pandemic complicated his progress. When the sport returned from a shutdown, Strasburg felt a “zap” whenever he threw between simulated games. His hand tingled in the middle of the night, let alone whenever he pitched. A test revealed carpal tunnel neuritis, and Strasburg underwent surgery for it in August 2020. But he now believes the procedure could have delayed addressing the real issue of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome.

The condition stems from the compression of nerve roots in the brachial plexus, a nerve network above the collarbone that provides movement and feeling to the arm and hand. It is most commonly diagnosed in pitchers, with specialists citing repeated arm injuries and high-effort throwing as main causes.

...

The season after carpal tunnel surgery, Strasburg’s problems came earlier and earlier in his starts. His neck was stiff. His shoulder was sore. He often took multiple cortisone shots, trying to last 100 pitches and stay on the field. But after five appearances, enough was enough. Strasburg flew to Texas to see Gregory Pearl, a leading surgeon for thoracic outlet syndrome, and had the procedure two days later.

This was July 2021. In the 14 months since, Strasburg has had three setbacks, tested positive for the coronavirus in April and this summer mourned the death of his father. He started for the Nationals on June 9 and immediately went to the injured list with a stress reaction in the second and third ribs on the right side of his body. Before landing there, he tried throwing a change-up after that lone outing in June, felt three pops in his shoulder and knew that meant trouble. He looks a lot like he did in his prime, a 6-foot-5 starter who detailed this saga in a T-shirt and shorts, his uniform for another daily rehab session. What plagues him is beneath his imposing figure.

“I’ve been doing very minimal exercises, and I’ve seen some improvements as far as the way my shoulder is sitting,” said Strasburg, who is at Nationals Park for every home game and coordinating with team medical staff when the club is on the road. “But I feel like the strength is not quite there, and I’m not really sure what the future holds.”

Karl Malone, Friday, 16 September 2022 17:44 (two weeks ago) link

he’s 34??

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Friday, 16 September 2022 17:57 (two weeks ago) link

time flies when you're on the IL. from the article it sounds like TOS was lurking for a long time, was probably unavoidable. but it's conspicuous that the worst of his injuries seems to have happened after 2019, when he threw 209 IP, only the second time he'd thrown more than 185 IP in a season, and then followed that up with 36 (very good) playoff innings. I'm glad that the nats won that year, at least.

Karl Malone, Friday, 16 September 2022 18:04 (two weeks ago) link

not that i'm criticizing him or the nats for letting him throw a ton of innings in 2019. i mean, if you could tell the future, in 2019, and you told strasburg that he could either shut down for the season to have TOS surgery and maybe never come back, oooooor keep throwing another 100 really good innings and win the world series, I wonder which one he or the team would pick.

that contract, tho

Karl Malone, Friday, 16 September 2022 18:05 (two weeks ago) link


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