Nats president plans patient approach with pitching prospects Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen

Stephen Strasburg will make his first exhibition start March 9; when will the Nationals’ top prospect make his first regular-season start?

Nats president Stan Kasten isn’t ready to put a date on that. He tells MLB.com that Strasburg and fellow phenim Drew Storen will be promoted "as soon as they can make it up here reliably."

"We will not bring them up sooner than they are able, and we will not leave them down (in the minor leagues) longer than they need to be down there," Kasten adds.

Still, Kasten is eagerly anticipating Strasburg’s spring debut against the Tigers in Viera, Fla.

"You can’t help but be exited and intrigued by all the interest that has surrounded him. Having been down this road a lot in the past, I know when to temper my expectations — to give things time and not to get too excited.

"It’s hard not to get too excited. You are not only watching with your eyes, you are also listening to people who have been in baseball for decades making observations that match what you are seeing.

"If Stephen could carry that forward to the Major Leagues, it will be an exciting time for all of us, especially our fans. We have to keep our fingers crossed."

Strasburg, projected to be the Nats’ future ace, was the first overall selection in the 2009 draft; Storen, the team’s closer of the future, was chosen with the 10th pick.

Stephen Strasburg will make his first exhibition start March 9; when will the Nationals’ top prospect make his first regular-season start?

Nats president Stan Kasten isn’t ready to put a date on that. He tells MLB.com that Strasburg and fellow phenim Drew Storen will be promoted "as soon as they can make it up here reliably."

"We will not bring them up sooner than they are able, and we will not leave them down (in the minor leagues) longer than they need to be down there," Kasten adds.

Still, Kasten is eagerly anticipating Strasburg’s spring debut against the Tigers in Viera, Fla.

"You can’t help but be exited and intrigued by all the interest that has surrounded him. Having been down this road a lot in the past, I know when to temper my expectations — to give things time and not to get too excited.

"It’s hard not to get too excited. You are not only watching with your eyes, you are also listening to people who have been in baseball for decades making observations that match what you are seeing.

"If Stephen could carry that forward to the Major Leagues, it will be an exciting time for all of us, especially our fans. We have to keep our fingers crossed."

Strasburg, projected to be the Nats’ future ace, was the first overall selection in the 2009 draft; Storen, the team’s closer of the future, was chosen with the 10th pick.

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