Stephen Strasburg throws five shutout innings in final Triple-A start

5 Comments

With his highly anticipated call-up to the Nationals scheduled for next week, Stephen Strasburg made his final Triple-A start this afternoon and fittingly tossed five shutout innings.
Strasburg allowed three hits, struck out five, and walked one against the Mets’ affiliate and a lineup that included former big leaguers Mike Jacobs, Russ Adams, Justin Turner, Mike Hessman, J.R. House, Ruben Tejada, and Mike Cervenak. Oh, and he also went 1-for-2 at the plate, scoring a run.
Slated to face the Pirates in Washington next Tuesday, Strasburg wraps up his time in the minors with a 1.30 ERA, .160 opponents’ batting average, and 65/13 K/BB ratio in 55.1 innings spread over 11 starts. He threw 89 pitches today, so Strasburg should be fully stretched out for a 100-plus pitch outing in his debut.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.