Strasburg on Giancarlo, RG3, and the shutdown

Strasburg on Giancarlo, RG3, and the shutdown
March 13, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Nationals Opening Day starter Stephen Strasburg (it’s now official) called in to ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning on Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics, some about things that locally we’ve heard over and over. But some of his answers were quite interesting, especially in one part of the interview as hosts Mike Greenberg and Linda Cohn decided to ask a few “fun” questions.

They asked him about his favorite players growing up, Robert Griffin III, and who he would least like to face in a pressure situation. Here are the highlights:

Who would you last like to see with one out in the ninth and a runner on third?

“I'm really not scared of anybody, but I think a guy who has had some pretty good success early on is probably Giancarlo Stanton. He's got a lot of power, but you know what? I throw it pretty hard too so see how far he can hit it.”

Do you see any coincidence in RG3, another D.C. sports star, dealing with an injury in the context of ‘should he have played?’

“I don't think there is really any coincidence. Football is a completely different sport. There's obviously many ways you can go out there and play through injuries. If you have a 96 percent tear in your ligament, you really can't throw a baseball at all. But with that said, injuries happen in both sports, injuries probably a little bit more in football, and knowing the type of person he is he's just going to come back much better and stronger for that matter.”

What has spring been like with several Nats players gone to the World Baseball Classic?

“A little bit more quiet because I don't have Gio next to me in the locker room right now, so that's a big change.”

Strasburg said his favorite team was the Padres growing up and his favorite player was Tony Gwynn, but on who his favorite pitchers were:

“As far as pitchers Kevin Brown was there, watching Jake Peavy, and of course watching Trevor Hoffman. Having all those guys in my backyard was really fun to turn on the television at night.”

Greenberg and Cohn also touched on Strasburg’s late season shutdown:

Was it hard to sit and just watch your teammates in the playoffs after being shut down?

“It is kind of hard to explain. As an athlete and a competitor, that's the last thing you want to do when you know you are 100 percent healthy and you want to perform and help your team and you're just not allowed to. It's something I had never experienced before and hopefully I never have to again.

Do you understand the Nats’ decision making in shutting you down?

“I think you can definitely sit back and see the reasons why they did it, but it is tough to really predict the future and at that moment you want to go out there and give it everything you have and live in the moment. But it's all water under the bridge and I'm excited for the opportunities we have this year.”

Listen to the full interview with Stephen Strasburg right here.