Stephen Strasburg — Strasburg begins, in what is hoped the final stages of Tommy John rehab, pitching tomorrow for the Hagerstown Suns (Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals) at the Hagerstown Suns Municipal Stadium. The stadium boasts the honor of being one of the three oldest Minor League baseball stadiums in the country.
Strasburg a right-handed pitcher for the Washington Nationals, selected first in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft and signed a record $15.1 million contract with the Nationals August 17, 2009. Strasburg was called the “most-hyped pick in draft history” by ESPN and the “most hyped and closely watched pitching prospect in the history of baseball” by Sports Illustrated.
Strasburg was placed on the disabled list with an inflamed right shoulder in July 2010. He returned to action on August 10. On August 21 he was removed with an injury. August 27 the Nationals announced that Strasburg had a torn ulnar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Damage to the ulnar collateral ligament is common among baseball pitchers and other sports with an overhand throwing motion such as the javelin. Injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament are believed to result from small tears that accumulate over time.
In the 2010 season Strasburg started in 12 games completing 68 innings with 92 strikeouts and compiling a 2.91 ERA.
The Washington Nationals are in last place in the National League, 19 games back of first place Philadelphia Phillies with a 54-58 record. The return of Strasburg if successful could boost the confidence of the Nationals in a late season run or lead into next season’s start.
Either way all eyes will be on Strasburg, as his spot on the starting rotation is greatly needed in the success of the Nationals.