Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw fastballs at full effort earlier this week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last September.
On Thursday, according to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the 22-year-old phenom began working in curveballs.
Strasburg has experienced no setbacks in his surgically-repaired right elbow since beginning a throwing program in early February and could begin pitching in minor league rehab games later this summer if everything continues to go smoothly.
The Nats haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of him returning to the majors at some point in 2011, but it’s highly unlikely to happen. Strasburg is simply too important to the franchise’s long-term hope for success.