Happy Strasburg-a-versary

25 Comments

Lots of promising young guys make their major league debut every year, but there aren’t many like Stephen Strasburg’s, both in anticipation and in actual payoff.  It was a year ago tonight that Strasburg made his, and I’m still in awe over it.

He struck out 14 Pirates batters without issuing a walk.  His last pitch of the night — his 94th — was clocked at 98 MPH. He hit 99 MPH multiple times.  Between the movement of his fastball and that insane, multi-plane slider thing he threw, Pittsburgh never had a chance. With that heat, though, his changeup looked to be like a future killer, much the way Johan Santana and Tim Lincecum have made their bones off of their changeups despite having so much else going for them. Strasburg showed that night — and again, over the course of the handful of starts he got before his ligaments got the better of him — that he was the total package.

Strasburg’s rehab is reportedly going well. He may see some real action late this season and should, barring any setbacks, be ready for regular action to kick off next year.  I don’t know what we’ll see.  I hope we see something as close to the pre-surgery Strasburg as is medically possible, though I worry we won’t.

But even if we don’t, we’ll still have those few weeks of 2010 when some of the most electric stuff every unleashed by a rookie pitcher made its way into our living rooms.

Happy Strasburg-a-versary.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.