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Posted at 06:37 PM ET, 08/18/2011

Stephen Strasburg’s next rehab start, and why the Nationals aren’t worried about his last one

Stephen Strasburg will make his minor league rehab start, assuming a successful side session tomorrow, Monday at Class A Hagerstown, the site of two of his first three rehab starts. In his fourth rehab start, Strasburg will throw either four innings or 65 pitches, whichever threshold he reaches first.

Strasburg came to Nationals Park today to complete his conditioning drills, and before batting practice he sat at his locker, chatting with a few teammates. Strasburg has not yet made it back to the majors from Tommy John surgery, but he does have a nameplate over a locker in the Nationals clubhouse.

Last night, Strasburg had one of his roughest starts as a professional, allowing five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on four hits and two walks. The Lexington Legends smashed one line drive after another off him, which he called a necessary learning experience the Nationals cared about not a bit.

“Not at all,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “I’ve seen many times, with Jim Palmer, anybody going down there and getting some work, I’ve seen guys get rocked. These guys, it may be their last chance to face a big league pitcher. They’re sky high. In Steve’s case, he’s not really worried about pitching to hitters or setting them up. He’s just worried about throwing pitches, release point, rhythm.”

By  |  06:37 PM ET, 08/18/2011

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