Washington Nationals star young pitcher Stephen Strasburg has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery. He will be out 12 to 18 months.
The injury is a major blow to the Nationals franchise. Strasburg was one of the greatest pitching prospects in baseball history and received the largest signing bonus of any baseball player ever drafted. He pitched brilliantly at times for the Nationals this season after being called up in June. In 12 starts, Strasburg went 5-3 with Washington with a 2.91 ERA. He had 92 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 68 innings. That’s an average of an incredible 12.17 strikeouts and 2.25 walks per nine innings. Strasburg had a spectacular Major League debut for Washington against the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this year. He struck out 14 while walking zero.
MLB.com has video of the pitch where Strasburg hurt his arm.
Ironically, the Nationals learned of the loss of Strasburg just one day after introducing the club’s other megasuperstar prospect, Bryce Harper. The Nats had a press conference to introduce the 17-year-old Harper to the media Thursday. The young slugger from Las Vegas mashed 12 home runs (some landing in the third deck) in batting practice before being introduced to the press.
Since Harper is still a teenager and has yet to play even one minor league game yet, a realistic time table for the arrival of both Strasburg and Harper in Washington would be 2012.