Strasburg flashes form for adoring fans in rehab start
“I knew the velocity was going to be there,” Strasburg said. “It’s not where I was, but you have to start somewhere.”
A throaty man tried to start a “Let’s go Strasburg” chant. No one from the sellout crowd - estimated at 6,107 - joined.
While sun fought through the overcast, rain drizzled. It was nothing like the thunderstorm that soaked the field two hours before the game.
Strasburg used four pitches to strike out Ryan Fisher. The pitcher who needed only 11 games in the minor leagues and fanned 14 players in his big league debut seemed near. Then Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach ambled from the dugout to end Strasburg’s afternoon.
Strasburg was scheduled to throw two innings or 35 pitches. His program mirrors that of Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals’ right-hander who returned last season from Tommy John surgery.
The normal recovery time from the surgery is 12 to 18 months. Strasburg is less than a year removed from the procedure, performed Sept. 3.
The next start of Strasburg’s 30-day minor league rehabilitation assignment comes Friday, if he stays on schedule. No site has been announced, but it’s likely to be Single-A Potomac or Harrisburg. Both teams are at home, while Hagerstown is on the road.
“I think I’ve definitely grown up a lot from this,” Strasburg said into a cluster of 11 microphones.
Then he edged out of the room, his rebuilt right elbow and the hopes of a franchise in tow.
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