Stephen Strasburg continues to progress in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Friday that the former No. 1 overall draft pick could make a start in September for the club.
Strasburg was pretty much written off for 2011 after undergoing surgery last Sept. 3, but his rehab is going extremely well. He threw to hitters for the first time Wednesday, throwing 45 pitches in Viera, FL.
If Strasburg does return this year, it’d likely be for one or two starts at the most, and any sort of setback at all would likely rule that out. The Nationals’ primary goal is to have him ready for 2012, and they’re only going to let him start in the majors in September if it makes complete and total sense.
Still, there wouldn’t be any real harm in letting it happen if his rehab progresses. The minor league season concludes at the beginning of September, so there’s not going to be anywhere else for Strasburg to pitch until the fall instructional league play starts up.
Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts as a rookie before getting hurt last year. He figures to join Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan in the Nationals’ 2012 rotation, with two spots still to be determined.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.