Stephen Strasburg Retires: Star Pitcher’s Impact on MLB, Nationals

Washington Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg Retires - World Series MVP

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has officially retired from professional baseball, the team announced this past weekend.

Strasburg will be paid the entire $105 million left on his seven-year, $345 million deal. As part of his retirement deal, the contract was restructured to further increase the deferrals.

Nagging Injury

Strasburg has dealt with several injuries during his career. Since the 2019 season, he has made just eight starts. He also had Tommy John surgery early in his career and has battled a cervical nerve impingement and shoulder inflammation. In 2023, he was shut down from all baseball activities due to nerve damage and thoracic outlet syndrome.


Stephen Strasburg Selected in 2009 MLB Draft

While at San Diego State University, Strasburg posted an amazing ERA of 1.59 and won 22 games, including a 13-1 season in 2009. He struck out 375 hitters, had four shutouts, and saved seven games. After garnering extensive hype, Strasburg was selected No. 1 overall by the Nationals in the 2009 MLB Draft.

Short MiLB Career for Stephen Strasburg

In 11 starts between Double- and Triple-A, Strasburg showed everyone he deserved to be on the fast track for a major league roster spot. He had a 1.30 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 55 innings. The Nationals decided he would make his big league debut at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 8, 2010.


MLB Debut

Stephen Strasburg has officially retired, but he had a remarkable debut on June 8, 2010. In front of 40,315 fans at a sold-out Nationals Park, Strasburg struck out 14 batters over seven innings, which remains a franchise record.

At the time, the organization was a steady bottom-dweller in the standings and needed a boost. That pitching performance is still considered the franchise’s most unforgettable moment since their 2005 move from Montreal to Washington, D.C.

A Remarkable Career for Stephen Strasburg

When Strasburg was healthy, he was intimidating and dominant. He finishes with a career ERA of 3.24. He struck out 1,723 batters and led the National League in strikeouts in 2014. Through 247 regular-season starts, he went 113-62. Strasburg is a three-time All-Star and even won a Silver Slugger award in 2012 when he hit .277 and belted his only career home run.

In the postseason, Strasburg had a 1.46 ERA in 55.1 playoff innings, holding an extraordinary 32.6 percent strikeout rate.


Changed for the Better

Even though Strasburg’s career was short, most will consider it a success. He was part of a group of players that took the Nationals franchise from despair to triumph. He helped the team earn NL East titles in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017. In 2019, his 18 wins and 3.32 ERA earned Washington a Wild Card spot, and they went on to win the World Series. Strasburg was named MVP of that World Series.

Stephen Strasburg to the Hall of Fame?

Stephen Strasburg officially retires and goes down as one of the best players in Washington Nationals history. The next chapter for him asks whether he is worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame. Though he just retired, he hasn’t appeared in a game since 2022. This makes him eligible to appear on his first ballot in 2028.

It’s unclear whether the voters will look at his stats and impact on the Nationals organization and find him worthy for a spot in the Hall of Fame. Until then, we know that his name and status are forever engraved in D.C. sports history.

Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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