If you paid any attention to Stephen Strasburg’s first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, then you probably saw an electric fastball accompanied by above average secondary pitches. The crowd, thinned out by the waterlogged conditions, seemed to emit a certain electricity when Stras dialed up an 0-2 fastball. If Tuesday night’s start was any indication, Strasburg is back and ready take his spot as the future of the Washington Nationals.
Those fans who stuck around past Strasmas witnessed the Nationals future number two/three starter, Brad Peacock. He was thrust into a difficult position, coming into the game mid-inning with runners on base. Peacock bent but did not break, allowing 4 hits and an earned run, escaping a potentially horrendous inning by inducing a GIDP. According to Davey Johnson, it appears this trend will continue, as Peacock will be relieving Strasburg for the rest of the season.
According to many bloggers and fans, the manner in which Peacock entered the game was controversial. Groomed as a starter during his time in the minor leagues, many question why Davey Johnson would force Peacock into a position in which he is not comfortable. While I understand the thinking, I’d like to ask fans to drop the pitchforks and torches and take a big step back. Pitching is pitching. The practice of grooming starters in the bullpen is a long standing tradition that shouldn’t negatively impact Peacock. The rubber is still 60ft. 6in. from the plate and there are still three outs in an inning (last I checked).
Strasburg and Peacock project to be stalwarts in the Nationals rotation for years to come. Factor in young stud Jordan Zimmermann and the Nats could potentially boast a top three composed entirely of home-grown arms. We know the Nats brass will be careful with Strasburg, especially considering his surgery. Zimmermann has already been shut down after reaching his innings limit. Expect the same for young Brad Peacock. Don’t worry about where or when he’s pitching. As long as he is getting big league experience (and hopefully some outs) it will be a big step in the right direction for Peacock.