ESPN is reporting that Stephen Strasburg will follow the same path as Washington Nationals teammate Jordan Zimmermann in his comeback from elbow-ligament replacement surgery.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters Monday that Strasburg will be limited to 150-160 innings this season.
Zimmermann threw 161 1/3 innings last year following surgery and hopes to reach 200 this season.
Strasburg, the overall No. 1 draft pick in 2009, got off to an exceptional start in the majors in 2010 before injuring his right elbow and having major surgery which kept him out of the majority of the 2011 season. He returned for five starts in September, throwing 24 innings, with 24 strikeouts, compiling a 1.50 ERA and a 1-1 record.
The 23-year-old Strasburg told reporters Sunday that he felt more “natural” throwing the ball now than he did in September and that he had no problem with the number of innings he would be limited to this season.
Though there might be a temptation to have Strasburg skip a few starts in order to extend his year, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo revealed that wasn’t in the team’s plans.
Rizzo says: “There’s not going to be a whole lot of tinkering going on. We’re going to run him out there until his innings are done.”
The GM added Monday:
“He’s a young pitcher that’s still learning how to pitch in the big leagues. I think it’s unfair to get him ramped up in spring training and start the season on a regular rotation and then shut him down or skip him. We’re just going to make him comfortable.”
Stephen Strasburg talks about his injury in the video clip below: