Strasburg pitches five shutout innings in Harrisburg

Washington Nationals top prospect Stephen Strasburg pitched five strong innings today allowing only one hit. The righty struck out six and walked only one batter. So far on the season for AA-Harrisburg he has pitched 12.1 innings, allowed one earned on seven hits and three walks…he has also struck out 17 batters.

Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore:

“He’s doing the things he needs to do to progress to the next level. You can see from the stretch he’s gathering himself a little more, and not losing any velocity, which is something we were worried about. He’s about 1.24, 1.25 [seconds to home plate], which is where we want him to be. He also handles the bat. Offensively, he knows what he’s doing…. The stuff is solid, and the little nuances he’s getting a feel for. The changeup has come a long way, even since spring training. That’s a real weapon for him now.”

Analysis: He should be up in Syracuse soon. It’s becoming evident to just about everyone that he is only in the minors for financial reasons. Hopefully when he finally does make it to Washington they will still be somewhere near .500 and he can help them compete. If he can’t be in the majors right now, Strasburg needs to be pitching in AAA, not AA. He isn’t gaining anything by pitching against players who are slightly above college level talent.