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Imminent #1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg threw a no hitter yesterday. He’s hovering at about 2 strikeouts per inning, and is 11-0 with a 1.24 ERA. No doubt once he’s drafted Washington will have to pony up some serious cash, they’re already selling off anything not nailed down as we speak in order to come up with Strasburg/Bora’s likely asking price of $20m+.
What happens once he’s signed? Can you call him up to the majors immediately!? Start him the next day? I say you throw him in the minors. Washington is the worst team in baseball and has nothing to gain from throwing him this season other than some attendance. Give him the Lincecum 2007 treatment, two dominant starts in A ball, move him up. Two in AA, move him up. Two in triple A, bring him to Washington.
Meanwhile simulcast his starts during Nationals games. Sell Strasburg jerseys, bobbleheads, autographs and false idols at the team stores. Keep a Strasburg watch on the scoreboard to build excitement. Open the pocketbooks and take a Tanner Scheppers in the first round with the compensation they received for not signing Aaron Crow and fast track both of them.
Rushing him to the bigs would be a risky exercise. Adjusting from college to pro ball is no joke. The lifestyle, playing everyday, real crowds and the increased media scrutiny are things that would take any young man some time to figure out. If he doesn’t sign until the deadline he’ll have a two month layoff from pitching, so it would be even more insane to try and start a guy in the majors who hasn’t pitched live recently.
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