If the Washington Nationals draft San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg next month, indications are the presumptive No. 1 pick won’t spend much time in the District this season, even if he signs quickly.
The Nationals will likely keep Strasburg in the minors for most of whatever length of time they have him this season, a club source said on Monday.
Though there’s a possibility Strasburg could make a late-season appearance to draw some attention to the team, like Ross Detwiler did in 2007, Washington will likely wait until 2010 before inserting him into the starting rotation.
The chief reason is that Strasburg, by the time he signs with the Nationals, will have thrown 100-plus innings and then had at least several weeks off from pitching.
It’s possible team executives could call for Strasburg’s major-league debut late this year; the Nationals could also negotiate with advisor Scott Boras for Strasburg to make the appearance in 2009, as they did with Detwiler in 2007.
But such an appearance would likely be an isolated case, as acting GM Mike Rizzo is believed to prefer keeping Strasburg in the minors and putting the right-hander’s arm through a light workload the rest of this year.