Stephen Strasburg is in the best shape of his life

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Stephen Strasburg’s recovery from Tommy John surgery is going swimmingly, he says, and what’s more, he told CBS’s Ted Robinson that he’s feeling great:

“I’m definitely in the best shape of my life … Once you start throwing, it’s gonna be a long process just getting your strength back, but I feel great about it and I have a really good feeling that I’m gonna come back at 100 percent. … The surgery’s down to a science, and you’ve just got to do what the doctors tell you.”

Not the usual best-shape-of-his-life story because a lot of us have underwear older than Strasburg, and guys who play the BSoML card are usually older guys fighting physical decline.  But hey, it’s mid-January and nothing is going on so we’ll certainly take it.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.