Latest Strasburg session astounds

Latest Strasburg session astounds

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg had his second bullpen session on Tuesday. How good was the first overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft?

"He was off-the-charts good," manager Jim Riggleman said of Strasburg, who will make his Spring Training debut on March 9. "He was really good today."

During the nine-minute session, Strasburg, 21, threw his two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup. Ivan Rodriguez was behind the plate, and Strasburg didn't want to bounce any of his pitches.

After the session, Rodriguez gave Strasburg advice on how to throw certain pitches.

"It was unreal [throwing to Pudge]," Strasburg said. "He is a future Hall of Famer. The first couple of throws, I was trying not to throw right [near his foot]. Unfortunately, I did it with the first pitch, and I settled down and went back to basics. He was out there working with me. He got me nice and relaxed. I was able to get good work on the mound today.

"Pudge was giving me new ideas -- how to face certain hitters, how to approach guys with the sinker, changeup and working on both sides of the plate instead of just the arm side. It worked pretty well, so I'm going to pick up on it in the next bullpen session."

Rodriguez was impressed with Strasburg, but he wants to see him pitch in exhibition games.

"From what I saw, he worked great," Rodriguez said. "He has a good fastball, good stuff. He has a good breaking ball and changeup. The kid is pretty amazing. It's only the first time I caught him. As far as control, it's very good. The kid is doing what's he's doing."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.