Thursday, May 27, 2010
Source: Strasburg might face Pirates 1st
ESPN.com news services
The Pittsburgh Pirates might get the first shot to solve Washington Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg, who has dominated at each of his minor league stops this season.
Strasburg is tentatively scheduled to make his major league debut against the Pirates at Nationals Park in a series that starts Tuesday, June 8 and ends Thursday, June 10, a team source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
"If the dominoes fall the right way, this is what we're looking at," the source told Olney.
Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan, who was traded by Pittsburgh to Washington last season, was excited to hear that his former teammates might get the first big-league taste of Strasburg.
"This kid is a monster. He is a special breed," Morgan told MLB.com, which also reported that the Nationals were targeting the Pirates series for Strasburg's debut. "I'm fired up that he will face my former team. I just want to see him pitch really good against them. He is going to bring an energy that we haven't had before here. It's something I'm looking forward to."
The 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick has had no problems getting minor league hitters out. In 45 1/3 innings in eight starts between Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg, he has struck out 54 and yielded just 22 hits and 10 walks. He has an overall ERA of 0.99 , and just a 0.39 ERA with Syracuse.
The dominating right-hander didn't allow a run in winning his first three Triple-A starts before allowing five hits and two runs, one of them earned, in his previous start on Monday. He left with the score tied at 2, but his team won 6-3.
The two-time All-American at San Diego State signed a four-year, $15.1 million contract with the Nationals after being drafted last year.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.