“Do you still love me?”
That may be something rattling around Stephen Strasburg’s head. The pitching phenom of the Washington Nationals took the league by storm last year when he debuted with electric stuff and velocity that stayed within 3 digits for several innings.
But that all came crashing down when on Aug 20 of last year, it was announced that Strasburgh had a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, needed Tommy John surgery, and would miss most, if not all, of the 2011 season.
But, Strasburg has been on track to return to the Bigs, allowing 1 hit over 6 IP Thursday night for Double-A Harrisburg in what was expected to be his final minor league rehab start before he returns to the Washington Nationals.
His expected start will be at National Park on Tuesday when the Dodgers come to visit where he is scheduled to face Ted Lily.
How have ticket sales been for Strasburg’s return?
According to SeatGeek.com, there has been a jump in Nationals prices from $30 to $57 for the second game of the Dodgers series on 9/7. The entire series is averaging $39 but SeatGeek says they are expecting to see even more movement and demand over the next few days. Nationals tickets are averaging $40 this season, a $2 drop from last season, placing them in #20 across the entire MLB this year. You can also see Nationals price data here.
So, love appears to be returning to a club that is in dire need of it. If Strasburg avoids the injury bug, and Bryce Harper can stay on track, 2012 should be what Nationals fans had hoped 2011 was supposed to be.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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