As buzz builds around a possible late-season comeback for Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg, this news is sure to stoke the flames. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the 23-year-old's fastball reached 95 miles per hour in a simulated game on Monday and that the pitcher was "holding back."
If Strasburg was indeed holding back, that would mean his fastball, which tops out at over 100 miles per hour, is either at or near the level it reached last season.
Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA for the Nats in 2010, his rookie season, before it was cut short by injury. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft then had Tommy John surgery, a procedure that keeps pitchers from playing for at least a full year, often longer.
For Strasburg to come back from the injury before the end of this season would certainly be a remarkably fast recovery, even at his young age.