White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was on Sirius XM this morning, and the subject of Stephen Strasburg moving to the disabled list came up. Here’s Cooper, making every Nationals fan in the country faint:
“Strasburg does something that I call an upside down
arm action. Listen, I’m not wishing this guy bad by any stretch,
but for him to have some problems right now when they are really, really
watching him. What are they to think when they are trying to get 220
[innings] from him? He does something with his arm action that’s
difficult for a guy, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on. I
call it upside down arm action, some people call it an elbow lead, whatever you
want to call it. It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood. It reminds
me a little bit of [Mark] Prior. I hope I’m wrong with this because
he’s an oustanding pitcher.”
But that can’t be! Strasburg has perfect mechanics! Oh, wait . . .
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.