Notes: Strasburg looks 'real good'

February 19th, 2021

A familiar sight was back for the first time in seven months.

threw off a bullpen mound on Friday, the second day of pitchers and catchers workouts, at Spring Training. He last pitched for the Nationals on Aug. 14 before he was shut down to undergo carpal tunnel surgery on his right hand. Strasburg was limited to just five innings in his 11th season.

“He looked good, real good,” manager Dave Martinez said. “No issues.”

Martinez paid close attention to Strasburg’s mechanics as he pitched in a red Nats uniform. He noted the ball was coming out of the 32-year-old’s hand with a fluid motion. Strasburg told Martinez he felt “really good” after the morning session.

“That's a good start for us,” Martinez said.

The Nationals are approaching Strasburg’s Spring Training like any other season, rather than a comeback from injury. They will, though, be mindful of the fact he threw so few frames last season. Strasburg is just one year removed from being named the 2019 World Series Most Valuable Player.

“He is in preparation mode,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Not in rehabilitation mode."

Early bullpen impressions

In addition to Strasburg, pitchers who threw off the mound on Friday morning included right-handers Erick Fedde, Joe Ross, Ryne Harper, Aaron Barrett, Joan Adon, Tyler Dyson, Todd Peterson, Tyler Eppler, Kyle McGowin, Jefry Rodríguez and Gabe Klobosits and lefty T.J. McFarland. Adon (No. 14) and Dyson (No. 15) are ranked in the Nationals’ Top 30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

“I saw two guys today, Peterson and Dyson, who have electric stuff,” Martinez said. “They threw the ball really well. They were around the plate, which is something I always look for. They threw strikes. When I look at these guys and I look at what we have in camp, our future with pitching is bright.”

Minor League coaching staff update

The Nationals announced their Minor League coaching staff on Friday, including managers, coaches and coordinators. Among the notable changes, Matt LeCroy was named manager of the Triple-A Rochester affiliate. This will be LeCroy’s 13th season as a coach in the Nats’ organization. He managed the Double-A Senators from 2016-19.

These are the managers of the Nationals’ affiliates for the 2021 season:

• Triple-A Rochester Red Wings: Matt LeCroy

• Double-A Harrisburg Senators: Tripp Keister

• High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks: Tommy Shields (also co-field coordinator)

• Low-A Fredericksburg Nationals: Mario Lisson

• Gulf Coast League Nationals: Jake Lowery

• Dominican Summer League: Sandy Martinez (also field coordinator)