According to the Washington Post, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman hinted Sunday that Stephen Strasburg is likely to begin the 2010 season in the minor leagues.
The 2009 No. 1 overall pick threw his first bullpen session of the spring on Sunday. He delivered 37 pitches, mostly fastballs, and apparently looked pretty sharp. But, no matter how great he may look this spring, the Nats want to respect the process.
“I wouldn’t really want to say that he’s competing for a spot in the rotation,” Riggleman said shortly after the workout. “I think we’re open-minded, but… he could pitch real well down here, but we still might feel like the development, the process is to be respected of going through the system and getting really used to the rigors of throwing every fifth day [in the minor leagues].”
Strasburg will get the call sooner than later, and perhaps right around the time Chien-Ming Wang (shoulder) is ready to contribute. The arrival of that duo should make for a nice midseason boost in Washington.
Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has gotten a lot of press lately and for good reason. He has absolutely torched Double-A pitching so far this season, entering Sunday’s doubleheader batting .407/.456/.676 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 170 plate appearances.
Guerrero stayed hot, going 4-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, ending it in the bottom of the seventh inning — doubleheaders in the minors can be two seven-inning affairs — with a two-run homer.
Guerrero started off the back end of the doubleheader with an RBI single in the first inning, so he’s overall 5-for-5 with four RBI on the day as of this writing. He also now has 21 multi-hit games out of 39 total games this season. Today’s performance marked his second four-hit game; his other one occurred last Wednesday.
MLB Pipeline ranks Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ system and No. 2 overall in baseball behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuña. The Jays may be forced to summon Guerrero to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like this. In a similar situation, the Nationals promoted hot-hitting 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto earlier today after just 35 plate appearances at Double-A, skipping Triple-A entirely.