Stephen Strasburg was impressive in his five-inning start against the Mets yesterday and today the Nationals announced that he’ll get their Opening Day assignment versus the Cubs.
It will be the first Opening Day start for Strasburg, who wasn’t called up until June in 2010 and missed the beginning of last season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Strasburg returned to make five starts with a 1.50 ERA and 24/2 K/BB ratio down the stretch last year, looking every bit like his dominant pre-surgery self.
Manager Davey Johnson also revealed that Gio Gonzalez will follow Strasburg in the rotation by starting Game 2, but hasn’t said yet how he’ll arrange Jordan Zimmernan and Edwin Jackson. Chien-Ming Wang or John Lannan will be the Nationals’ fifth starter.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a minor league contract with Brett Anderson.
Anderson, you’ll likely recall, began his major league career with the Athletics in 2009 and pitched for Oakland through 2013. He had some success in Oakland, being named the Opening Day starter one year, but injuries have mounted for the lefty over the years. The last season in which he was healthy all year was 2015 in which he made 31 starts for the Dodgers. Last year he posted a 6.34 ERA and a 38/21 K/BB ratio in 55.1 innings across 13 starts for the Cubs and Blue Jays.
Organizational depth at worst, a veteran arm to eat some innings if things go well and a potential midseason trade chip if he enjoys a resurgence of health and a little bit of luck.