Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was on target and up to speed Sunday in his first rehab since having Tommy John surgery.
Twenty five out of 31 pitches Strasburg pitched were hits, his fastball was in the upper 90s, and he struck four while allowing one run over 1 2/3 innings for Class A Hagerstown.
Strasburg said, adding that his delivery felt good than it did pre-injury, “It seemed like once they said, ‘Play ball,’ I kind of just got that feeling back real quick. It honestly does – I get on top of the ball a lot better. I’m able to drive the ball down into the zone a lot better, a lot more efficiency.”
“Before, I just wasn’t in as good a shape. … I think the biggest reason I broke down is because I just got tired. I wasn’t necessarily prepared for a full season.”
The right hander had not encountered a batter in a live game situation since grabbing his right wrist following a pitch to Domonic Brown of the Phillies on August 21. Strasburg had reconstructive elbow surgery on September 3, finishing his rookie season with a 5-3 record and 2.91 ERA in 12 starts.
He started throwing once more in February, off a mound in May, then in simulated games last month. Strasburg expects making one more start in the minors Friday. His objective is to go back to the Nationals in September.