The defending-champion Washington Nationals have been successful in keeping Stephen Strasburg healthy. Because of this, Washington has one of the most complete rotations in the game – seen in last season’s performance. Baseball fans were somewhat in shock as they watched the wildcard team knock off the regular season-favorite Dodgers and sweep the St. Louis Cardinals on their way to winning the World Series crown.
The shining star for the club in 2019 really turned out to be Strasburg. He finished the season with a 3.32 ERA while accumulating a career-high 251 strikeouts. The righty also had a career-best 18-6 record in the regular season and displayed his clutch play going 5-0 in the postseason. This dream season has done everything but disappointed fans, and now Strasburg is guaranteed $100 million. But this new contract could just be the start of more accolades for the still-young National superstar.
2019 NL Cy Young Award
In 2019, the NL Cy Young was awarded to the Mets veteran pitcher, Jacob deGrom. Rounding out the top three were the now-Toronto Blue Jay Hyun-Jin Ryu and Strasburg’s teammate, Max Scherzer. Stephen finished fifth in voting just under Jake Flaherty of the Cardinals. If he can carry his success into the 2020 season, Strasburg may not only finish in the top five once more but could win the award outright.
Washington lost a key piece to the puzzle in their star third baseman, Anthony Rendon. However, the Nats still possess some major power with the bats of Juan Soto and the longtime National Ryan Zimmerman. This team can still make a deep run in the postseason, and that can catch the eyes of this season’s award voters.
The Best is Yet to Come
Last season was nothing short of amazing in Strasburg’s up-and-down career. The struggles over the years have included Tommy John surgery, lateral strains, and shoulder troubles. These incidents have kept Strasburg from his full potential, making the fans of baseball eager to see him stay healthy. He’s capable of winning the Cy Young award this year, as well as add to his all-star total.
The Nationals are looking to contend again this year and return to the World Series. With the duo of Scherzer and Strasburg at the helm, they will give their offense a chance to win every time. One-run games were crucial for Washington last year, especially after the All-Star Game. This may the year in which Scherzer hands the torch over to Strasburg in order to continue their success. If injuries are ever a problem for Max this upcoming season, he will have ample time to recover due to Strasburg and the rest of the team’s depth.
Even with a healthy Scherzer on board the Nats, Strasburg will be the driving force behind the rotation. And as mentioned before, eyes will be caught and they will remain on Stephen Strasburg.
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