It’s been more than a year since he has thrown in a real game. But on Sunday, Stephen Strasburg took a huge step in his journey back to the majors, with his first minor league rehab start.
Strasburg pitched 1 2/3 innings, striking out four and allowing one home run with the Hagerstown Suns. But there are some big positives to take away from the short appearance. First, his speed is back up. While pitching against the second batter in the game, Strasburg hit the upper 90’s on the radar gun. And his control was on point. Out of the 31 pitches Strasburg threw, 25 were strikes.
But most important, the wincing was gone, and Strasburg says he feels great.
“I was super excited to get back out there,” Strasburg said during a postgame press conference. “The jitters, the adrenaline…it was definitely kicking in. I think the last time I experienced that was in my debut. I felt really strong out there. I think I’m right where I want to be physically. I worked extremely hard all season, put my body in the best shape possible to go out there and compete.”
A crowd of more than 6,000 packed Municipal Stadium to see the phenom’s first time back on the bump since he had Tommy John surgery last fall. And more than 60 media credentials were handed out for the game between two Single-A affiliate teams.
Makes you wonder if we will see a sell out again when Strasburg makes his triumphant return to Nats Park, he hopes by September.