News And Notes Around Washington And The Rest Of Major League Baseball
The Nationals are back at .500 yet again. The club has reached an improbable 18-18 by riding the backs of the less-talented but hard-nosed veterans, while patiently waiting for their prospects to develop. Last night's win showed the kind of excitement we can hope to get from this club as it matures, one who hangs in the game and take it over in dramatic fashion.
Speaking of young players, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Stephen Strasburg is almost ready to throw from the mound:
“Everything is going along fine,” said Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty. “I know he’s close to throwing off the mound. I’m sure he’s getting close to it. I know there were some discussions about it. It will be shortly. Everything has been going fine. I know he’s bored. I know he’s probably going nuts. But he’s sticking with it.”
It has been a slow but careful rehab for the future arm of the franchise. We saw last year what he is capable of, however, and we know that Tommy John surgery has a very high success rate. It's simply a matter of time.
Kilgore also fills us in on what has made Drew Storen so successful early on this season. We saw the former first-round pick get rocked in Spring Training, but he has bounced back to be the Nationals most consistent man out of the bullpen so far this season. According to the report, he has decided to tinker less, and throw his fastball more. This goes right along with the Nationals recent devotion to old school, hard nosed, grind it out baseball philosophy.
Speaking of old school, Bartolo Colon is in the midst of a surprising comeback this season. The former All-Star is hanging on with the New York Yankees after being completely out of baseball...and he's throwing HARD. According to the New York Times, that can be attributed to him getting stem cell treatment on his shoulder and elbow during his year off. He had to do it in the Dominican Republic with a doctor from Florida.
Hardball Talk has a really cool story about Rick Ankiel's dissension as a starting pitcher. It was 10 years ago yesterday that Ankiel got sent down to the minors after his astonishing inability to throw strikes. For those of you who remember, at the time he was the Stephen Strasburg of the 1990s, a super prospect with amazing stuff.