Washington is the center of the baseball universe today. Last night it was Bryce Harper’s time in the spotlight. Today is much bigger: Stephen Strasburg’s debut.
It’s easy to go overboard with this, of course. He’s a phenom. A freak. A savior. You name it. But he’s also a young pitcher who, however much he dazzled ’em in the minors, will take his bumps and bruises for a while in the big leagues. Nothing brings that concept home more than a review of the last twenty or so debuts from stud pitchers, a slide show of which you can see here.
The best part of the slide show: just how damn young some of those guys look.
As Bill wrote last night, Robinson Canó — bashed for his lack of hustle just a few days ago — busted it out of the box last night and strained his hamstring. That has now landed him on the injured list. Adeiny Hechavarria took over at second base after Cano’s last night and is starting there in today’s game versus the Nationals. No timetable has been given for Canó, but one usually misses at least a couple of weeks with hamstring pulls, sometimes longer.
Also going on the shelf for the Mets is Jeff McNeil, who hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. J.D. Davis will cover for him until he comes back. Michael Conforto is the next regular outfielder who should return to the fold. He has still not been given an offical comeback date after hitting the injured list with a concussion, but it was reported yesterday that he has been symptom free for a few days, which is a good sign.