Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Nationals-pitcher-stephen
Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy. Stephen Strasburg was one of the hottest topics in baseball throughout the 2012 season because of his controversial innings limit, but he didn’t waste the innings he was given. Of his 28 starts for the Nationals last season, Strasburg made 20 quality starts (pitching at least six innings and allowing no more than three runs). He finished with a 3.16 ERA, a .230 batting average against, and a 1.15 WHIP. He had the highest strikeout rate on the Nationals staff (11.3 per nine innings), and his 197 strikeouts ranked seventh in the National League.  For much of the early part of the season, he and Gio Gonzalez were battling each other for the first- and second-most strikeouts in the NL, contributing to the Nationals pitching staff being nicknamed “K Street.” His early-season dominance won him the title of NL Pitcher of the Month for April, and earned him a spot on the 2012 All-Star Game roster, but his biggest award was not one you would quickly associate with a flame-throwing right-hander. With as much hype as has surrounded this pitcher since the Nationals drafted him in 2009, no one expected that his first major award would be for hitting. But he surprised everyone by winning the 2012 Silver Slugger for National League pitchers. He finished the season with an offensive slash line that could easily be attributed to a middle of the lineup hitter: .277/.333/.426. In 47 at-bats, he struck out just 13 times, and hit one home run and four doubles. Yes, those numbers come from a small sample size because he is a pitcher, but I was I was graced with the opportunity to see the man take batting practice from the field, and trust me, it was incredible. Next Year: Strasburg was shut down after just 159.1 innings last season, but many in the Nationals organization are hopeful that he will reach 200 innings in 2013. In his first full major league season with no innings limit, there will be no limit on Strasburg’s potential to rock Washington. If he pitches even better than he did in 2012, which is likely now that he is over two years removed from his Tommy John surgery, you will be hearing his name in the Cy Young conversation. Up Next: #38 Michael Morse, “The Beast”
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

World Series: Game One live blog

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due of Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

UEFA Champions League midway report

World Series: Game One live blog

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.