- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 28, 2022

The news about Stephen Strasburg seems to be positive, but it’s coming at a slower pace than many Nationals fans would like.

Washington manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Thursday that Strasburg, whose 37-pitch bullpen went well on Wednesday, is expected to face live hitters the next time he takes the mound. 

Joe Ross, another injured starting pitcher rehabbing in West Palm Beach, Florida, is on a similar path as Strasburg — feeling good and ready to face hitters, Martinez said. Ross threw about 45 pitches during his most recent pen. 

Martinez said both “felt good” after their sessions, adding that he saw video of Strasburg’s pen. 

“I watched videos of it. He actually looked really good,” Martinez said. “It’s about getting him comfortable with everything so that when he comes back he’s not thinking about mechanics or shoulder or neck and he’s just out there pitching.”

Strasburg, who has barely pitched since winning the 2019 World Series MVP award and signing a $245 million contract, is recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He had faced live hitters during spring training, but in the weeks since, the 33-year-old took a step back to focus on his mechanics. 

“It’s taken a little bit longer, but we’re going to do it the right way, not only for only us but for Stephen as well,” Martinez said. “He’s been on board, and he’s been really good.”

Ross, meanwhile, is working his way back from a pair of elbow injuries. The often-injured right-hander was shut down last August with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, ending the most productive season of his career. He then suffered a setback right before spring training and had surgery to have a bone spur removed in his elbow. 

For both Strasburg and Ross, the goal is for them to throw multiple live bullpens before being put in simulated games and then minor league rehab assignments. 

Martinez said they want to take it slow with Strasburg to ensure that when he does return to D.C. that he is ready to go. 

“When we get him back, I want him back,” Martinez said. “I don’t want him thinking about mechanics, his arm slot, where he’s landing, all that stuff. I want him to come back crisp, everything clean and be ready to pitch and give as many innings as he can possibly give us without any setbacks.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide