SAN FRANCISCO — Nearing the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, Stephen Strasburg held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to discuss his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
Here’s some of what Strasburg had to say:
On when he may be allowed to leave Viera, Fla. and go on rehab starts: “I can’t tell you how much longer I’m going to be in Viera, it’s not my call. It’s been going very smoothly so far. I’ve been on schedule, everything feels great and that’s all I can really focus on right now. The Nationals are going to have to make a decision at some point on when they want to send me up and it’s going to be their call.”
On the toughest part of his rehab: “Not so much the physical rehab, a lot of it’s mental. When you first start throwing you have to realize everything’s good inside you and you have to let it happen and now it’s just trying to stay sane down there in Florida when you’re doing pretty much the same thing everyday.”
On if Jordan Zimmermann has provided inspiration for him with how well he’s done at the MLB level this year: “He’s such a hard worker, he’s a bulldog out there. I know that if I do the time down here in Florida that everything’s going to work out. I’m so happy for the kid, going through it now, I realize everything he had to go through last year. He worked his butt off and now he’s being rewarded.”
What exactly he’s doing down in Florida: “The idea is to put great stress on the new ligament. I’m throwing three bullpens a week and from anywhere from 30-40 fastballs and 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.”
Strasburg said that he has not been clocked on a radar gun — the emphasis right now being more on mechanics and timing than speed — and he has yet to throw a breaking pitch.
Safe to say he’s a long ways from where he was a year ago but Strasburg sounded in good spirits on the call. I’ll have much more on Strasburg’s recovery and what’s happened the past year for him tomorrow.