Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw fastballs at full effort earlier this week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last September.
On Thursday, according to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the 22-year-old phenom began working in curveballs.
Strasburg has experienced no setbacks in his surgically-repaired right elbow since beginning a throwing program in early February and could begin pitching in minor league rehab games later this summer if everything continues to go smoothly.
The Nats haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of him returning to the majors at some point in 2011, but it’s highly unlikely to happen. Strasburg is simply too important to the franchise’s long-term hope for success.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.