Strasburg Arrives

=== Hook, Line and Sinker Dept. ===

LOL.  Dr. D grins broadly and hits the treble-hook, with gusto.  Good stuff Matty. 

For whatever reason, the 9-foot-arc slo-pitch "Intro" posts get the juices flowing... SSI heartily approves of the tag-team elbow drops...


=== Strasburg Hits the Majors ===

For those wanting a recap of Strasburg's first game, you can read an info-taining one here, notably in $50 Mills, Eh?  Sold to Young Frankenstein.  Granted, they're dated 16 months ago, but don't hold the time-warping against us.   ::big smile kiddies::

Those just joining us might start with POTD: Strasburg's Mechanics (Analysis) and Strasburg Too Risky?  The interesting January 2009 debate was theoretical:  was Boras' asking price of $50M a bad deal for the Nats?  Taro was the poster who got it right ;- ) with the rest of the brain trust begging to differ.

In the end, it didn't matter:  the industry inertia held down Strasburg's original contract to about 10%, 20% of his actual market value.


=== Debut Game ===

If you saw the Kerry Wood game, you saw this one.  We saw a comment admiringly go, "He won't keep up THIS performance, but..."

Sure he will.  Perform like this.

Strasburg will fan 12, maybe 14 men a game in the big leagues, near term.  Kerry Wood's debut season, he struck out 12.6 men per nine innings -- 233 punchouts in 166 innings.  And Wood's stuff wasn't as good as Strasburg's:  Strasburg has a foot more on the fastball, plus Strasburg has four pitches instead of two.  As well, Kerry Wood was "effectively wild."  Strasburg has better command than the 1998 Kerry Wood, too.

The only thing that kept Kerry Wood from being pretty much the best pitcher who ever lived -- at least over a 5- or 10-year stretch,considering time-and-era -- was his elbow.  (12.6 strikeouts, in that 1998 context, was impossibly ahead of the curve.) 

NL opponents have no other hope against Strasburg going forward:  they just have to hope, that like Wood, Strasburg's arm doesn't have many bullets in it.  This morning, they're hunkered down under a bush hoping that the magazine will empty and that they'll hear the dry "click click click of firing pins on bare metal.  And as soon as possible.

It'll be an SSI upset if Strasburg isn't the best pitcher in baseball, the best since Pedro, and starting yesterday.


=== Future Prognosis ===

If you and I were playing an NL roto league that drafted tomorrow, Strasburg would be the first pick taken, he or Albert Pujols.  If we were playing a keeper league, Strasburg might (or might not) fall to #5-10 -- only because he hasn't yet demonstrated Halladay-like durability.

That's contract not considered.  When you do factor in Strasburg's rookie salary, he may be the most valuable dollar-for-dollar commodity of the free-agent era.  For the same point in on his career arc.

Supposing the Nationals offered you Stephen Strasburg for Felix Hernandez?  You would include Ichiro in a 2-for-1.  Supposing that it were salary-neutral?  You would spend a week trying to project Strasburg's durability, seeing as Felix' durability is demonstrated.  And then you'd have a very tough call.


Enjoy da show,

Dr D



Is it ever OK to try not to win in order to put yourself in a position to draft a Strasburg or LeBron?
If not, how is it different from trading away your best players at the deadline?
Losing the series to Oakland at the end of 08 could have been a better "move" than any trade would have been (no matter how great we think Ackley might be).


That's an interesting point.  Should we have run our prospect B team out there to "get a look at some of our players" and hope for three losses instead of 3 wins?  Is Strausburg valuable enough that you are willing to compromise your own integrity just a little bit to get the upgrade from Ackley?  Interesting...not sure I know the answer to that one.


Your usual masters-worthy thesis, Spec :- )
What's the essential problem with Rob Johnson betting the other team on Friday night?  I'm not being facetious.  What is the nature of the problem with throwing baseball games?
You're not talking about throwing games; you're talking about a variation on the "rebuild" theme.  But...

M-Pops's picture

Stras' motion/delivery seems extremely stressful on the shoulder.
I understand that one cannot "arm" a ball 103 mph.  However, Stras' motion really reminds me of Mark Prior's.  
I don't really understand where Stras' velo is coming from, the way I can with Lincecum/Felix/Verlander/etc.
I think, when all is said and done, the M's will be fortunate to have been left the #2 pick.

Taro's picture

Its not suprising that Strasburg is a great pitcher from Day One, but I think hes going to have a short shelf life.

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