WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg has been dominant to start the 2017 campaign, making the All-Star game, going 9-3 in 18 starts, throwing 112.2 innings and twirling a 3.43 ERA.
This seems like the perfect time to switch up his mechanics and approach.
Strasburg told 106.7 The Fans’ Grant Paulsen during the All-Star Week festivities in Miami that he was contemplating a return to pitching not exclusively out of the stretch, as he has to start the 2017 season.
The move was made in response to the shoulder injury that ended his 2016 campaign prematurely. It was designed to simplify his delivery and mechanics, but he now feels a degree of confidence to pitch normally.
“He wants to return to the windup so that he’s not solely out of the stretch for the remainder of his career,” Paulsen told co-host Danny Rouhier on Wednesday. “He said, ‘look, I got great results, it worked the way I wanted it to. But I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into having to pitch from the stretch.
“It seemed to be almost for his own mental psyche that he had to prove to himself that he could pitch from the windup again.”
Coming out of Spring Training, Strasburg was joined by Yu Darvish and Noah Syndergaard as notable pitchers ditching the windup. Strasburg detailed his logic to the media, explaining that the move allows him to throw just as hard with improved precision.
“You get this feeling when it’s right and you want to be able to repeat it as many times as you can, and make good pitches. I feel like it’s something that helps me do that.
“It’s still just throwing a baseball. It’s not like I’m trying to throw left-handed or sidearm or anything so, it’s just — you get this feeling when it’s right and you want to be able to repeat it as many times as you can, and make good pitches. I feel like it’s something that helps me do that.”
So why would anyone want to change that? It sounds like it isn’t a matter of if, anymore, but when.
“I don’t know if he’s going to do that in the second half,” Paulsen concluded. “I would have to assume that this would maybe be something at the end of this season, that he would re-introduce it to his repertoire. But I think that would be interesting.”