Does the name make the ace, or does the ace make the name? Probably the latter, though we can't help but think names play at least a small part in helping us become what we are. Stephen Strasburg? That's an ace's name. And the phenom is certainly pitching like one so far.

Last night, it was the Twins' AAA affiliate in Rochester that was the latest to get a taste of the Nationals' great hope. He struck out 9 batters -- including Jacque Jones and Danny Valencia -- allowed just three hits, touched 99 on the radar gun and did not allow any runs in 6.1 innings. That makes his line in 8 starts between Double-A and Triple-A an absurd 6-1 with a 0.89 ERA.

Rochester manager Tom Nieto, a former major league catcher, said he's never seen anything like Strasburg: "Not that young, not that fresh out of college. He's obviously something special."

He has a chance to be the LeBron James of baseball -- the rare player who comes in with enormous expectations and a burden to match, and then, at least individually, lives up to every bit of it. The Nationals are expected to promote him to the big leagues sometime in the next couple of weeks. While the Twins will not play the Nats in interleague play this year -- they have three NL East teams, but not Washington -- a local fan's loss at possibly seeing him pitch live will be offset by the knowledge that the Twins won't be outdone in the starting pitching matchup that night. He just might be that good. (Conversely, what the [redacted] is going on with Glen Perkins?)

Strasburg also gives the D.C. sports scene another shot in the arm, presuming he arrives soon. Ovechkin; Strasburg; Wall; McNabb. It could be a pretty nice little time in the nation's capital.

Your thoughts on Strasburg: too early to call this, or have you heard enough already to be convinced he'll be an ace in the majors if he stays healthy?

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