San Diego State University announced Thursday that they will retire the jersey number of former Aztec and current Washington National Stephen Strasburg in a ceremony prior to the team’s season opener on Feb. 17 vs. Washington.
San Diego State head coach Tony Gwynn will present Strasburg with a framed No. 37 jersey that he wore during his three years with the team during the 5:45 p.m. (PT) ceremony. Strasburg is due to report to spring training in Viera, Fla., two days later on Feb. 19 with the rest of the Nationals’ pitchers and catchers as the 2012 camp gets underway.
From the SDSU release:
Strasburg was a consensus All-American as a junior during the 2009 season when he compiled a 13-1 record with a 1.32 ERA. That season he struck out 195 batters in just 109 innings while walking only 19… During his Aztec career, Strasburg set SDSU and Mountain West Conference records for strikeouts in a game, season and career as well as new marks for ERA in a season and career.
As is usually the case, all eyes will be on Strasburg this spring as the right-hander comes in for his first normal spring since undergoing Tommy John surgery in Sept. 2010, and the subsequent rehabilitation process that ended with a triumphant return to the major leagues last fall. Most Tommy John survivors point to their first spring after a healthy offseason as the time they felt the most refreshed and completely back to normal so it will be interesting to see how Strasburg progresses throughout the spring.
Like Jordan Zimmermann in 2011, Strasburg will be on an innings limit this season. Zimmermann was shut down after 161 1/3 innings last season and it’s safe to assume that Strasburg’s limit will be in that general range. Zimmermann, on the other hand, now more than 2 1/2 years removed from his surgery, will be expected to throw 200-plus innings this season.