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MissChatter: My Official Strasburg Debut Prediction

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MissChatter: My Official Strasburg Debut Prediction

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:30am

By Miss Chatter
CSNwashington.com

I'm going to go ahead and call June 4th as my best guesstimate of the date Stephen Strasburg makes his MLB debut. I began thinking there was a possibility he'd debut in San Diego on the road, but after last night's shortened start in AAA, I'm fairly confident it'll be June 4th at home against the Reds.

Making his debut on the road didn't seem terribly far-fetched because Strasburg not only attended San Diego State but the city is also his birthplace. While it would be heartbreaking for fans dying to see him take the major league mound for the first time at home, it'd be an honor for him to debut in front of friends and family and save them some travel expense. Drew Storen debuted within driving distance of his home in Indiana after all. On the other hand, as I've learned in karaoke, nerves rattle far worse in front of people you know than a stadium (room) full of complete strangers. If it comes down to a baseball decision based on current injuries if he were to debut on the road, I think many fans would understand but the resulting backlash from others may be on the scale of opening day when Phillies fans filled Nationals Park.

With Scott Olsen landing on the disabled list, a pitcher will need to fill in for his May 29th start. One turn could be missed due to yesterday's day off, but the next time through the rotation needs a body. Since the Nats have returned to .500 ball after a slight dip, do they continue playing to win? If so, it would seem going through roster gymnastics or a short bullpen to call someone up for a spot start or move Miguel Batista into a temporary starting role may not be worth the effort. May 29th would be Strasburg's next start on his current schedule after he started last night against the Toledo Mud Hens in AAA. June 4th pads an extra day in.

I was baffled as to why Strasburg was relieved from his starter duties after only 52 pitches last night. I thought he was at the stage in development where the Nationals planned to stretch him out closer to 100 total pitches in a game. So why pull him at barely over 50? Sure, he allowed a couple hits and the Mud Hens managed to score on him, but the Chiefs and Hens were tied at 2-2 at that point.

If you believe this Letter to the Washington Nationals where San Diegans plead for the Nationals to bring Strasburg up for his debut on the road during the May 28-30 series, they point out the plan for Strasburg has been to pitch 50 innings in the minor leagues, saving about 100 for the major league club. After his five innings last night, Strasburg is already at 45.1 innings pitched. Supposing he goes out for one more start with the Syracuse Chiefs and presumably pitches 5 more innings, he smacks right into 50 total innings pitched in the minors before being called up to the show. If that plan truly is the case still, then Strasburg being pulled last night after five innings makes perfect sense and indicates he will indeed make one more start with the Chiefs, debuting at home the following week.

As others have pointed out, if Strasburg debuts on June 4th, he will get two home starts before the following road trip, and tickets have been going fast for the home stand. To ensure a viewing of the pitching phenom at Nationals Park, fans can still only guess and Stan Kasten quipped to purchase season tickets as usual. I can't imagine the Nationals would give away the ticket sales boon to another team even if they are already reaping benefits of the guessing game, yet starting Strasburg on the road doesn't seem as unimaginable as it did a month ago. Still, I'm sticking with the first week of June, which also guarantees he is beyond the Super Two date.

In the meantime, sports t-shirt designer extraordinaire 289 has designed rocking Strasburg t-shirts just in time for ordering before filling Nationals Park in less than two weeks.

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Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as according to a new report by ESPN, they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard.

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

When Manny Machado returns from the 2018 MLB All-Star Break, he will not be donning a Baltimore Orioles uniform. 

The All-Star shortstop is expected to be traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers, barring any last-minute changes, according to multiple media reports. 

That being said, the Machado trade talks remain fluid and both the Phillies and Brewers are still trying to work a trade for the 26-year-old third baseman, according to Jon Heyman. The Diamondbacks are also reportedly trying to lure the four-time All-Star to the desert, while the Yankees decided to pull out of the Machado sweepstakes just prior to the All-Star festivities in Washington, D.C. 

While the details of the trade have yet to be revealed, the Dodgers will reportedly include top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz in the Machado trade, according to Heyman.

According to Jim Bowden, when regular-season play returns, Machado will be in the National League, although which team he plays for is still up in the air.

With the Orioles sitting a historically awful 39.5 games out of first place at the All-Star Break, trading Machado is the first major step toward a complete overhaul. The Orioles drafted Machado out of Brito High School in Miami, Fla., with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Since then, Machado has drawn comparisons to iconic third basemen Brooks Robinson and Alex Rodriguez, despite being moved to shortstop full-time this past season, and is widely considered one of the three best position players in professional baseball.

Machado is currently batting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs.

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