Strasburg throws, ready for next rehab start

Strasburg throws, ready for next rehab start

Strasburg throws, ready for next rehab start
CHICAGO -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw a successful bullpen session at Pfitzner Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. That means he will have his second rehab start on Friday night for Class A Potomac.

Strasburg will throw 50 pitches and/or pitch three innings. The young phenom had his first rehab start Sunday for Class A Hagerstown, pitching 1 2/3 innings while allowing a run with three strikeouts.

Strasburg's fastball was clocked as high as 98 mph, which didn't surprise Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty.

"Anything he does, does not surprise me," McCatty said. "Watching him from Spring Training, if I didn't know what happened to him, I wouldn't have guessed that there was anything wrong with him.

"He feels great. That is the big thing. So he gave up an opposite-field home run to somebody. So what? Guys who throw hard are going to give up home runs."

At this point, the Nationals are not worried about Strasburg's stat line; they want to make sure that he is healthy before he returns to the big leagues. Strasburg's rehab assignments are expected to be in the home ballparks of Washington's Minor League affiliates.

"We are just looking for him to build arm strength, build up innings, build up stamina and we'll monitor the recovery," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "It's already been explained to him that his numbers are not going on the back of a baseball card. He is preparing to get to the ultimate level. We have to do it the right way. ... We need to control the environment. We have the capability when we are at home."

Strasburg is hoping to pitch in his first Major League game of the season some time in September. The last time he pitched in a big league game was on Aug. 21, 2010, against the Phillies before undergoing Tommy John surgery.