When he makes his long awaited return to the major leagues on Tuesday following last season’s Tommy John surgery, the Nationals plan on being very careful with their young star Stephen Strasburg, and intend to limit him to a very strict pitch count of one.
“We need to look out for that elbow until we are certain his surgically repaired ligament can withstand the rigors of pitching every fifth day at an elite level,” said Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty, who says the team with adhere to the pitch count until it looks like Strasburg can safely throw more than one fastball, 2-seam fastball, 4-seam fastball, cutter, splitter, change-up, slider, curveball or whatever pitch the Nationals decide to have him throw and hit by the best pitching machines ever. “From there he will throw two pitches, then three, four, and so on. We might be criticized for being too careful, but lots of teams use limited counts to protect their pitchers. The Yankees might not allow A.J. Burnett to ever throw a pitch again.”
Washington GM Mike Rizzo says that while the Nationals are willing to take care of their phenom’s arm with a pitch count of one, they fully expect the former #1 overall softball gloves to buy to throw it for a strike, because he’s “making millions and we aren’t going to baby him.”