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By Scott Barancik, editor

Nearly a year after injuring himself during his Double-A debut, Washington Nationals prospect Cameron Selik returned to the pitcher’s mound, tossing 1.1 innings of relief in the Potomac Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Frederick Keys on Tuesday.

Selik, 25, is built like an NFL linebacker at 6-feet-2-inches tall and 235 pounds. A converted catcher, he caught games in high school for a then-underperforming teammate named Stephen Strasburg.

Last year, a combination of power and control earned him a 2-1 record at Potomac (A-Advanced) along with a 3.68 ERA, 34 strikeouts (in 22 innings) and only three walks. It also earned him a bump up to the Harrisburg Senators.

His stay there was painfully brief. Selik made his Double-A debut in the 7th inning of a game against the Binghamton Mets (box score). He retired the first batter he faced and had a 3-2 count on second batter when he left with a lat injury, just 10 pitches in. Selik — who had Tommy John surgery during junior college — wouldn’t return to the mound for nearly 12 months.

Yesterday’s game was not Hollywood perfect. Selik entered with two outs in the 6th inning, a man on second base, one run already in, and Potomac clinging to a 4-3 lead over the Frederick Keys. The University of Kansas alum struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning, but not before throwing a wild pitch. In the 7th inning, he gave up one run on a solo HR and two singles and was credited with a blown save (box score).

Thankfully, Potomac went on to win the game, 6-5. And Selik showed he was no relic: seventeen of the 25 pitches he threw were strikes.

“Definitely wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for in my return but it felt really good to pitch in a game again,” he Tweeted after the game. “Can’t wait to get even better!”

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