If Strasburg debuts June 8, all the early matchups are fantastic


According to Yahoo!'s Tim Brown, a "source close to Stephen Strasburg(notes)" has indicated that the 21-year-old will likely make his major league debut on June 8 against the Pirates.

If accurate, this means that Strasburg will be in line to face the following opponents prior to the All-Star break: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, ChiSox, Baltimore, Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco.

So, um … wow. It's tough to imagine a sequence of weaker lineups. Those teams currently rank 29th, 26th, 22nd, 27th, 15th, 23rd and 24th in the majors in runs-scored. The Nationals have set up Strasburg for the smoothest possible transition from Triple-A, where he's been utterly dominant (3-0, 0.39 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 27 Ks in 23.1 IP).

Brown's tweet confirms an earlier filing from MLB.com's Bill Ladson, suggesting that Strasburg will, in fact, make his first regular season appearance in the Pittsburgh series. The phenom's future teammates are understandably excited:

Nationals players were ecstatic to hear the news about the possibility of Strasburg making his Major League debut against Pittsburgh.

Center fielder Nyjer Morgan(notes), who nicknamed Strasburg "Jesus" after watching him pitch during Spring Training, said Strasburg will make an impact on the team.

"This kid is a monster. He is a special breed," Morgan said. "I'm fired up that he will face my former team. I just want to see him pitch really good against them. He is going to bring an energy that we haven't had before here. It's something I'm looking forward to."

No word on whether Morgan has also nicknamed Jesus Flores(notes) "Steve," but let's hope he has.

Pitching call-ups are always risky, but it's tough to imagine Strasburg scuffling, given the Nats' unusually friendly schedule. We'll remind you again to clear your calendar for his debut. There will be a live-blog, and possibly a raffle. (Sorry, no Superfractors).


Photo via AP Images

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