We’ve been hearing rumors of the Nationals giving Stephen Strasburg his major league debut June 4th against the Reds. Early this morning Jon Heyman but the kibosh on that, saying that it has to be later, because the Nats have a 100 major league innings pitched ceiling on him. OK, he knows the agent. That might make sense.
A moment ago, Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweeted that the Nats are “are tentatively planning” to have Strasburg make his Major League debut “against the Bucs at Nationals Park
The Pirates are in Nationals Park June 8th, 9th and 10th. If Strasburg stays on regular rest he’d be ready for the 9th. If they give him an extra day to deal with hype and the media crush and all of that, figure the 10th.
Given the uncertainly, maybe you should just buy tickets to every Nats game in June. Not that the Nats would ever, ever cultivate such uncertainty in order to sell tickets to more than just the game Strasburg actually starts.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: