Today we’ll get to see Strasburg make his spring training debut, and start bringing all of the hype to another level. What to expect? Well for starters, probably a lot of fastballs. They’ll want to stick to his bread and butter while he gets his feet wet, and I doubt they’ll want to risk many breaking pitches because of both his arm and his psyche. No need to risk blowing out the guy’s elbow or shattering his confidence early.
Will we see a Mariano Rivera type reaction where guys whiff and flail even though they are 90% sure a fastball is coming? Who knows. Even reigning all-stars often get hit around when they first start spring training and are knocking the rust off, as well as facing hitters they’ve never seen before. He also might strike out the side his first time out there. No need to panic either way. Building him up slowly and putting him in a situation that minimizes potential injury is the primary concern his first few times out. It will be interesting to see if the game is completely sold out.