The Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said early in spring that no matter how great he pitched, Stephen Strasburg would begin the 2010 season in the minors. Well they stuck with their original plan sending the 2009 overall number one pick to minor league camp. Despite a plethora of people who think Strasburg should be in the Nationals rotation to start the season, the Nats made the right choice starting him in the minors.

The 20-year-old phenom is the Nationals future. Why risk the future right now to sell some tickets in April and May of this season? The key factor is all of this is Strasburg will be making his professional debut in April…no matter how great the talent, you can’t throw a top prospect into the fire right away with the hopes and pressure of a franchise on him. And that’s exactly what he’s already hearing and will be seeing from fans if he goes to Washington now. He needs to learn the little things and continue his development in a less-pressured situation in Double-A rather than in the show.

Strasburg will get to the Majors soon enough (could even be midseason), but there’s no reason to rush him along. If he struggles this season, this move will be second guessed for years. But having him fail early in the Majors could be a huge shot at his confidence, and it’s just not worth it to give the fans what they want early in the season.

Strasburg definitely pitched great in spring training, enough to earn a spot on the ML roster, but as the Nationals said in early March…this decision was made no matter how he performed. His spring performance was a great sign for the Nationals hopes of what he can do, but for now he needs to start his professional career in the minors to see what it’s all about. Kudos to the Nationals for ignoring the skeptics and making the right choice.