The future’s open wide

strasburg.jpgThe hour building up to the debut of Stephen Strausburg against the Pirates may have been the most excited I have been in quite sometime.

His every move was watched as 44,000 in Nationals Park and millions around the world were focused on this kid who is only six months older than myself.

It was like a presidential procession as he left the dugout to warm up in the outfield as a handful of security guards surrounded him as media and fans attempted to get a glimpse of the hurler.

With all the craze and hype developing since he was drafted as the first overall pick in 2009 Strasburg handled the moment the best way he knew how, striking out 14 Pirate batters.

It was the most unique way I personally have ever watched a baseball game as I focused solely on the 6’4 220 pounds pitcher. He is straight up Nasty, with a capital N.


He throws so hard hitting the upper nineties like it is nothing. His changeup clocks in at 91. His changeup! His sinker and curveballs would make Pedro Cerrano cry. They are simply unhittable.

He gave up a two run homerun to Delwyn Young and Andy LaRoche recorded the first hit off him in the third inning. Strasburg will be great, time will tell if he will be mentioned in the same breath as the Randy Johnson’s and Roger Clemens’s and if he will end up on the Yankees. But I think it is safe to say he will be the 2010 Rookie of the Year.

A much less hyped up debut of a pair of major leaguers will also be occuring soon.

The Pirates’ outfielder Jose Tabata and pitcher Brad Lincoln will make their first appearances sometime this week.

jose-tabata.jpgBoth have been hailed as saviors for the big league club and will also have to fight the adversity Strasburg is going through in order to prove they can belong.

Lincoln was the Buc’s first round draft pick in the 2006 draft, 4th overall. He’s had a solid minor league year at AAA Indianapolis going 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA. It has been his best year since returning from surgery in 2007. He has the potential to be a number one starter in the rotation but alsi has to develop himself into that role. Soemthing that homegrown Pirates pitchers fail to do.

Tabata is a unique story. He came over to Pittsburgh from the Yankees in the trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to New York. The Pirates also recieved Ross Ohlendorf in that swap. Tabata is best known for having a 35 year old wife who kidnaps children (long story). His on the field reputation is good as he has great potential at the plate. He is batting just over .300 with three homeruns this season. His best year came in 2008 when he arrived in AA Altoona. He hit for a .348 average. Tabata will split time in the outfield with Ryan Church, Lastings Milledge and Garrett Jones, when he is not manning first.

Both players will get early playing time by being thrown into the fire right away, I like that. That kind of development and on the job training is necessary to succeed. That is why they are up here anyway, to play.

The Pirates and the rest of Major League baseball all took a step in the right direction towards their future.

I was pleased with Pittsburgh’s draft class as I have been the past two years. It picked up who Baseball America called the two hardest throwing pitchers in the draft in 2nd overall pick Jameson Taillon and second rounder Stetson Allie. Not only do they both have sweet names, they have sweet pitches. Both can hit the 100mph mark which I think is ridiculous for both of them coming right out of high school. I still have doubts that the Pirates will be able to sign eitehr of them. They will demand a boatload of money and I am sure the Bucs will short change them. I can only hope owner Bob Nutting is ready to open up the checkbook.

I was most ecstatic about former West Virginia short stop Jedd Gyorko going 59th overall to the San Diego Padres.


Gyorko-Header-6810.jpgI have covered Gyorko and the Mountaineer baseball team for the past two years and he is head over heels the best collegiate player I have ever seen. He leaves WVU as the best hitter in school history with a .404 Batting Average and 35 home runs. He will help the Padres up the middle as well with a good gloves and wide range.



Kaybee and Hyun Young; enjoy him. He is a pleasure to watch and an even greater guy. He stabnds just a generous 5’10” but plays much bigger. He does have a stocky build and natural raw power. He was definitely picked up because of his bat and will be able to transition from aluminum to wood nicely. He is such a nice dude who was a pleasure to talk with and develop a trusting relationship. Yesterday was a big day for him and his family yet he took time out of it to do an interview with me. You guys can read my article about Gyorko here at The Daily Athenaeum website, the official school newspaper of WVU.

photo credits:



  1. Txbaseballfan

    First time for me to stop by your blog. I like it! I have some distant family in “West-by-God” so it’s cool to see someone that attends the university. Don’t have too much knowledge of the Pirates except for what I read on Erik Jabs’ blog. PNC looks pretty sweet, though I’m pretty partial to the Ballpark in Arlington!

  2. ohy22xd

    Stephen Strasburg was just flat out amazing. Because he went to San Diego State, he made myself and the San Diegans really proud. I still can’t believe he struck out 14 batters on his major league debut! As for Jedd Gyorko, I can’t wait until he plays professional baseball. I see a lot of promise from him and he can help the Padres a lot in the future. Thanks for the shout out! I told you this on Twitter but awesome job on your article. I just had to say it again šŸ™‚

  3. bklyntrolleyblogger

    Holy Cow! I remember that whole Tabata wife kidnapping fiasco. D.C. was truly the Nation’s Capital yesterday. I can’t believe he outperformed the hype! Incredible. There have been other pitchers who created a whirl-wind and others were greatly anticipated. But the hype on this kid was absurd.

  4. angelsgirl012

    i’ve never seen that many people supporting the Nats… since it was created. Good thing? Bad thing? I’m not exactly sure but it is exciting. 14 Ks is very impressive for one’s debut! Even with the pie and the silver elvis wig. Since he is incredibly hyped i’m sure a lot of people are waiting on his 2nd appearance as well

    tweet ya later! šŸ˜‰

  5. devilabrit

    I’ve said before I’ll be impressed with Strasburg if he’s doing it next season too… but lets face it, it’s one hell of an achievement just to pitch in the majors, regardless of how you do… it’s good when you see someone local get to a club, i hope Gyorko gets his chances with the Padres, we had a local kid Perci Garner from one of the local towns here selected 77th by the Phillies, which for me was great to see a local kid go to the team I support….

    Phillies Outside

  6. awayuniform

    Strausburg is amazing, besides being being able to throw great, he’s able to to turn off all the noise around him and concentrate on pitching. He’s two and two, but from what I read every game he’s been in the zone. I also posted about Alvarez; commenting that when you come up to the bigs it’s understood your not going to come out of the gate and be great. It takes some time to get used to the speed, the pitchers, hitters, and the others little things your not used to seeing in the minor leagues. Lincoln and Tabata with both be great, they’re already showing signs of it, but it will take them a little longer. Don’t worry Bucs, good things are happening.

    Away uniform

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