Stephen Strasburg has only pitched five innings since winning the 2019 World Series MVP. After undergoing surgery to repair carpal tunnel syndrome in his right wrist, the Washington Nationals star pitcher is ready for 2021.
Strasburg regrets participating in Summer Camp
Due to COVID-19, MLB players were unaware of when the 2020 season would start. According to Strasburg, he felt rushed to get prepared and that decision caused his injury to worsen.
If Strasburg would have not picked up a ball during camp, the injury may not have reached the point when surgery became necessary. However, it did, and he says that feels no pain in his wrist.
“We kept trying to do something easier or simpler,” Strasburg said.
Now that the surgery is complete and he is finishing rehab to get his grip strength and flexibility up. Right now, opening day is set for April 1, which leaves the right-handed pitcher time to get ready.
Stephen Strasburg is currently throwing his second bullpen session of camp, keeping him on schedule after his first came last Friday. He did some towel work off the mound Sunday, which is typical for his spring routine between pens.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) February 22, 2021
Prepping for Day One
The goal is simple. Be ready. Following surgery, Strasburg must be careful not to push his limits too far and risk re-injuring. The good news is that he has an actual time frame to work with as opposed to last year.
This time last year he was forced to push himself and was hoping to not need surgery. Now, his wrist is recovering and the 32-year-old could return to the mound for the Nationals and put together a strong season if his wrist holds up.
A look at Stephen Strasburg in drills this morning: "Endurance-wise, stamina-wise, I feel like I'm a lot further along than I have in years past." pic.twitter.com/rBNmB14voh
— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) February 22, 2021
Can he regain form?
Since entering the Majors in 2010, Strasburg has been a force. His career Earned Run Average is an impressive 3.19. In 2019, the average ERA was 4.49. Keeping that number in the three to four range this season will be a big test on whether he is the same player he was in 2019.
The Nationals missed the playoffs last season. Getting Strasburg back into the rotation with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin could be just what this team needs. They also added closer Brad Hand from Indians. With the Pitching Staff set, the Nationals will look to make another post-season appearance after suffering a World Series hangover.