Spring training is more about repetitions and less about performance, and that’s exactly what Stephen Strasburg is focusing on at this point. In his second start of the spring, against the Mets on Thursday night in Viera, Strasburg made gradual improvements in certain areas of recent weakness: fastball command and rushed delivery. His performance was still solid: one run on three hits and two walks over three innings and six strikeouts.
Strasburg caught himself slipping into the miscues of his last start early during his warmup in the bullpen on Thursday, an improvement. His timing when separating his hands is still off and he feels the balance in his delivery is not always quite right.
“Being so early, I don’t feel like I’ve had enough mound time for it to just click and not really think about it,” he said. “I’m still trying to feel it out a little bit. The good thing is it felt good when I came out, so that’s the bottom line. I was able to make the adjustment a little bit faster this time. Hopefully this time carry it and build off it in the bullpen coming up and try to do it again next outing.”
Strasburg’s command of his fastball was also off but better than Saturday’s performance. He threw 53 pitches, only 31 of them strikes. His offspeed pitches, ignored the last start, were a point of emphasis this time and were sharp. He fired an almost unfair sequence to Omar Quintanilla in the second inning: a 0-1 curveball followed by a strikeout on a change-up. Strasburg also hasn’t yet adjusted to hitters pouncing on his first-pitch fastballs.
Stephen Strasburg working through minor kinks in second spring start
Washington Post | Mar 1