Stephen Strasburg completed his third major league start earlier tonight, allowing just one run over seven innings while striking out 10 as part of a no-decision against the White Sox. With President Obama — a White Sox fan — in attendance, the Nationals eventually lost the game 2-1 in 11 innings.
With the 10 strikeouts, Strasburg established a new rookie record with 32 strikeouts over his first three major league starts, passing J.R. Richard, who held the previous record with 29 over his first three starts with the Astros in 1971.
Strasburg gave up a quick run in the first inning on a groundout by Alex Rios, but he held the White Sox to just two hits from there. He retired 15 in a row at one point until giving up a single to Gavin Floyd to lead off the top of the sixth inning. And after issuing five free passes against the Indians on Sunday, he did not walk a batter on Friday.
Strasburg threw 59 out of 85 pitches for strikes and according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, he had 19 pitches at 98 mph or above and two at 100 mph.
The rookie right-hander has a 1.86 ERA and 32/5 K/BB ratio over his first three big league starts. He’s scheduled to take on the Royals next Wednesday.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.