I’m not really certain which is the more impressive thing to come out of Adam Kilgore’s recent report on Stephen Strasburg’s rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery: i) that the pitcher could be set to begin Minor League rehab starts as early as mid-August; or ii) that the Washington Nationals’ pitching coordinator is named Spin Williams. However, I am confident that both items should be treated as really good news by Nats fans.
Williams was left “amazed,” after watching Strasburg throw a 30 pitch bullpen session just ten months after his surgery.
He commanded well. His mechanics were clean. I was extremely happy. Not that anyone throws 100 percent during a sideline. But he got after it pretty good. We’re looking at dates and stuf. He’s still got a long ways to go. He still has to throw live BP. When a batter steps in, his adrenaline is going up a tick. We’re just taking it really day by day with him. We’re just going to continue, day by day. I’m really, really happy with what I’ve seen.
Not that a member of the Nationals organization is likely to say anything negative about Strasburg’s recovery, but as Jayson Werth continues to struggle at the plate (Surprise!) and the team falls behind the New York Mets in the NL East standings, Washington fans will take anything that they can get.
If there’s one thing that the organization has done right in its incarnation as the Nationals, it’s been the patience its exerted with respect to Strasburg’s development both before Tommy John surgery and afterwards. While it may be “feasible” for the young star to return to the Majors sometime in September, one has to wonder what kind of value that would add over giving him more time to recoup.
I have no experience in physical therapy, nor a nickname like “Spin,” so I can’t really suggest what the better course would be for Strasburg, but I’m sure that fans, not just of the Nationals, but all of baseball, hope that whatever schedule Washington sets for their ace, it’s a measured one.