Stephen Strasburg hit 95 m.p.h. in a simulated game

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Stephen Strasburg, starting pitcher. A man barely alive.

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic pitcher. Stephen Strasburg will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”

Davey Johnson said Strasburg hit 95 today. And that was “a little tentative.”

That was Adam Kilgore on Twitter, describing Johnson’s performance of Strasburg’s simulated game.

As many have noted, of course, velocity is not the biggest trick when it comes to rebounding following Tommy John surgery. It’s touch and command.  And what made Strasburg so special last year were all of those things.  Yes, that heater was impressive, but more impressive was his ability to go from mid-to-high 90s and then break of the bender or throw that changeup of his for strikes.  The changeup that was faster than many guys’ fastballs, yet still made hitters look foolish.

So this is obviously awesome, but know that even if Strasburg pitches late this season, we may not see him at his post-surgery best until next spring.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.