Stephen Strasburg, starting pitcher. A man barely alive.
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic pitcher. Stephen Strasburg will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”
Davey Johnson said Strasburg hit 95 today. And that was “a little tentative.”
That was Adam Kilgore on Twitter, describing Johnson’s performance of Strasburg’s simulated game.
As many have noted, of course, velocity is not the biggest trick when it comes to rebounding following Tommy John surgery. It’s touch and command. And what made Strasburg so special last year were all of those things. Yes, that heater was impressive, but more impressive was his ability to go from mid-to-high 90s and then break of the bender or throw that changeup of his for strikes. The changeup that was faster than many guys’ fastballs, yet still made hitters look foolish.
So this is obviously awesome, but know that even if Strasburg pitches late this season, we may not see him at his post-surgery best until next spring.
The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.
Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.
Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.
As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo passes along an interesting piece of information. New Yankees OF/DH Matt Holliday has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to block a trade to exactly one team: the Athletics.
Holliday was briefly a member of the A’s back in 2009. He had a decent two months in Oakland, so it isn’t as if he feels he couldn’t produce there. However, the A’s do play their home games at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, which is the fifth-oldest stadium in baseball, having opened in 1966. You may recall that the Coliseum has had some issues recently. Three years ago, the coaches’ bathroom overflowed with sewage and sewage also came out of faucets. Earlier this year, there were more plumbing issues as the Yankees’ clubhouse toilet was backed up and water overflowed into the dugout. It’s understandable why Holliday might not want to play half his games there.