Norman Mailer wrote “The Naked and the Dead” right off the bat. Bob Dylan didn’t start out with his absolute best, but he had released the what most people consider to be his best work in his life — the “Bringing is All Back Home/”Highway 61 Revisted”/”Blonde on Blonde” before his 25th birthday. Both of those artists, and anyone else who starts out quickly in life, continued to do good and interesting work later, but so much of their careers were characterized by this sense that they were always trying to live up to some pretty incredible and unlikely early peaks.
OK, that’s a stretch for a baseball post about Trevor Story, but he can TOTALLY use that in some quasi-highbrow conversation later in his life if, after last night’s stunning debut, he face plants for the rest of his career.
The stunning debut: Story, the Colorado Rockies rookie shortstop, became the first player in major league history to hit multiple home runs in his big league debut on Opening Day. He’s the first National League player to hit at least two homers in his first major league game at any time. Four American League players have done it, but never on Opening Day.
All the more impressive: both homers came off Zack Greinke, who knows a thing or two about pitching, even if he was way off his game last night. Story hit a three-run shot in the third inning and a solo home run in the fourth. He’s probably still not fallen asleep yet.
Story is not some fluke. He’s a legit prospect with a nice future in story and he no doubt has many good things coming in his just-started major league career. But even if something weird happens and he never publishes his version of “The Executioner’s Song” or records his version of “Blood on the Tracks,” he’ll always have this.
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NEW YORK — Stephen Strasburg‘s status for 2023 is up in the air after a series of injuries that limited him to one start this season, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said.
“It’s still a little bit of a mystery,” Rizzo said about the 2019 World Series MVP before the Nationals were scheduled to play a doubleheader at the New York Mets. “I know that he’s working hard strengthening his core and the other parts of his body. We’re just going to have to see. With the type of surgery and rehab that he’s had, it’s unfamiliar to us. It’s unfamiliar to a lot of people. We’re going to have to take it day by day.”
The 34-year-old right-hander has thrown a total of 31 1/3 innings across just eight starts over the past three seasons combined. He had carpal tunnel surgery in 2020, then needed an operation to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021.
After his only start of 2022, he went back on the injured list with a stress reaction of the ribs.
“We’ll have to see where the rehab process takes us later on in the winter,” Rizzo said. “We’re going to monitor him. He’s local, so we’ll see him all the time and we’ll see where he’s at going into spring training mode.”
Strasburg is a three-time All-Star who signed a $245 million contract after helping Washington win a championship in 2019.
He is 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA for his career.
Meeting with reporters toward the end of a rough season – Washington entered with a majors-worst and Nationals-worst record of 55-104 and shipped away the team’s best player, outfielder Juan Soto, at the trade deadline – Rizzo talked about doing “an autopsy of the organization.”
“I look at the season as a disappointment. I’ve always said that you are what your record says you are, and our record says we’re the worst team in the league right now. It’s hard to argue with that,” Rizzo said. “The flip side of that is we’re in a process.”
Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez were given contract extensions during the season. Martinez said his entire coaching staff will return next year.