On August 17, 2009 the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg agreed on a contract just before the August 17th midnight deadline. It is reported Strasburg agreed to sign a four-year deal that will pay approximately $15.1 million.
The Nationals made the 21 year-old Strasburg their number one draft pick on June 9, 2009. The fire-baller from San Diego State made his debut with the Nationals only 364 days after he was drafted by the team.
On June 18, 2010 the young phenom made his debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park in front of a sellout crowd. Strasburg doesn’t disappoint anyone who watched the biggest debut of any Washington player since the Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson made his debut on August 2, 1907. In seven innings Strasburg picks up the win as he gives up only two earned runs and fans 14 batters.
Strasburg’s season comes to an end on August 21, 2010 during a game against the Phillies. In the 4th inning Strasburg has to leave the game due to a right arm injury. Less than one week later the Nationals announce that Stephen Strasburg had a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The only way to fix the injured arm would require Tommy John surgery.
In little more than year after injuring his arm Strasburg starts his first game since the Tommy John surgery against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 6, 2011. Strasburg gave up only two and no runs while fanning 4 batters in 5 innings.
During the 2011 season Strasburg will start five games and will win one and lose one game while only giving up 1.5 earned runs a game. In total Strasburg pitched 24 innings and only allowed 15 hits while striking out 24.
In Strasburg’s first full season (2012) with the Nats, Strasburg was selected to the National League All-Star team. In a little less than two years since his Tommy John surgery Strasburg has a 15-6 record for the Nats. With a month and a half left in the 2012 season Stephen Strasburg is in the middle of the largest baseball controversies of the 2012 season. The Nats management has made it clear that they are holding Strasburg to an inning count during the 2012 season. What isn’t actually clear is how many innings will it be. The numbers being tossed around the media is 160 to 180 innings. Right now we can only wait and see when the phenom will pitch his last game of the 2012 season.