WASHINGTON - AUGUST 21: Stephen Strasburg, the overall first pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft, takes part in a press conference where he was introduced at Nationals Park August 21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Strasburg, a right handed pitcher from San Diego State University, signed with the Nationals earlier this week wth a record contract for an amateur player. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
And on the 24th day, there was Triple-A.
Despite showing that he's actually human in his last start, Stephen "Jesus" Strasburg is being promoted less than a month into his first professional season.
Strasburg will join Triple-A Syracuse in time for his next start on Friday, when the Chiefs host the Gwinnett Braves in his first taste of International League action.
Strasburg's last start for Double-A Harrisburg was a loss. He gave up four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. That performance RAISED his ERA to 1.64. He struck out 27 and walked just six in 22 innings.
Strasburg, nicknamed "Jesus" by Nats' outfielder Nyjer Morgan (because that's the first thing he says when he sees him pitch), will now test his golden arm against more experienced hitters at the next level.
While the team has set no public timetable for his next call-up to the Majors, if all goes well the 21-year-old may be in Washington in early June.
But don't expect to see him hurl nine-inning no hitters at Nats Park this season. He's been on a strict pitch count so far this season -- including last week when he was taken out in the middle of a no-hitter -- and that will continue through the rest of the year. The Nats are doing this so he doesn't blow his arm out, ala Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
While Washington waits, Syracuse will get a chance to sell some extra tickets as the phenom takes to the hill for them. It's a good thing the Nats are actually winning right now, making the wait for Strasburg a little more bearable.