Few Washington Nationals are looking forward to the 2013 season as much as Stephen Strasburg. When the right-hander arrives in Viera, Fla., in two weeks for spring training, he will be anticipating the first full season of his young career, all restrictions lifted.
Asked about his offseason in a telephone interview Monday night, Strasburg’s response was telling: “It’s been a month longer than everybody else. I’m champing at the bit.”
Strasburg, 24, went through various stages of coping after he was shut down on Sept. 8 after 159 1/3 innings. He was angry and defiant at first, saying immediately after his final start, “I don’t know if I’m ever going to accept it, to be honest.” Nearly a month later, he was more subdued, admitting that time had helped him accept it, and even relenting that his late-season inconsistency was perhaps because of the innings increase from the previous year. Four months later, it still lingers — but less so.