Stephen Strasburg makes his highly anticipated return to the Washington Nationals rotation this evening as long as the weather will allow such a majestic event to take place. Luckily for Strasburg, who’s coming off Tommy John surgery, he should be able to ease back into things at his own pace, with little to no expectations. Here’s reliever Tyler Clippard:
“He’s the best pitcher I’ve ever seen. His mound presence, stuff, command, it might be naive for me to say it, but that’s what I think — the best. If he can stay on the mound a full career, it’s going to be something to watch.”
Way to ease the pressure. Clippard throwing in the word “if” there reminds me of the spring training reports Peter Gammons used to file for each team when he was with ESPN. After four or five “ifs” from Gammons, every team in baseball had a shot at potentially reaching the postseason.
Of all the people to shower Strasburg’s return with a dose of reality and a bit of reason was none other than Jayson Werth:
“Not to take anything away from him, but let it play out. We know he has Hall of Fame stuff, but he’s being called one of the greatest ever before he even gets to pitch one full season … Let him pitch a few years and then judge.”
Well said, Edge. Considering Strasburg’s last four starts in the majors consisted of 19 1-3 innings, 20 hits and 13 runs, it’s probably best for Nats fans to taper expectations while maintaining their current level of excitement, if that’s even possible.
[via Washington Post; photo via Getty]