Quick Hits: ACES, Yankees, Steranka

Stephen Strasburg made his final home start of the season tonight, allowing five runs in three innings to the Marlins. The Nationals will infamously shut down their star right-hander following his next start on the road against the Mets. Here's the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday…

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23 Comments on "Quick Hits: ACES, Yankees, Steranka"

2 years 11 months ago

I love Strasburg, he is probably my favorite pitcher in baseball, certainly the most fun to watch, but this has to be one of the most annoying stories in a long time. The Nats are more than Stephen Strasburg even though he is their ace. I would prefer to hear about them for a change instead of when he is or isn’t getting shut down.

Too much glorifying and overpaying of these players in baseball when the team is more important. It’s not Stephen’s fault, it’s just the way the hype machine runs.

2 years 11 months ago


You make a good point. Lost in all this hype is the fact that Zimmerman was shut in a move similar to this last year. Granted he’s not Strasburg, but it was for the very same reason and purpose,but nothing was ever really made of it.

2 years 11 months ago

But the Nats didn’t have the best record in baseball when Zimmermann was shut down last year.

2 years 11 months ago


I get the impression it wouldn’t matter, if it were not their record, it may be that they’re in a pennant race, or something else. The move is the best baseball decision Rizzo can make for the organization, long term. All the rest is just noise.

2 years 11 months ago

I don’t know. I think that Washington has a very good shot at winning the worldseries. That does not always come around. I’m all for the youth, but you only get that shot so often.

2 years 11 months ago

I dont know why they just save Strasburg for the meaningful games, skip him against the Mets. The Nats will make the post season, and I think Strasburg should pitch , he is an MLB pitcher – let him pitch. I also agree that the Yanks are getting older but they can still play. All teams go into funks however.

2 years 11 months ago

I wish Joel Sherman had attended the Maddona concert and posted a review instead of taking the obvious cheap shot at the aging Yankees and their current demise.This article could have been written at the beginning of the season and saved for a rainy day. While he’s correct that Jones, Ibanez and Suzuki and Garcia are old, they’re not the reason for the slide, even if some have run out of gas.

What has hurt NY, is that the pitching has gone south, and the entire team has stopped hitting, aside from old man Jeter. Sabathia has pitched inconsistently, Kuroda has been up & down, Hughes and Nova have been also hit or miss. Garcia has actually been consistent and like the entire staff, has often not gotten enough run support. The BP seems to be running out of gas from constantly working, and there’s not too much age there, aside from Lowe.They just have not performed well.

The Yanks have just not hit like they did earlier in the year. They stopped hitting HRs and have not taken advantage of scoring opportunities, which is how the entire season has progressed. Now Sherman makes Granderson, Teixiera,Swisher and Cano into old men, guys that are still in the prime.

He talks about last night’s game, but fails to mention that it was lost when the youngster, Robertson blew the game.
A month ago, age didn’t matter, NY was a juggernaut with crafty veterans who knew how to pace themselves and win. Once they stopped winning, it was because of their age. Why bother with facts, when an angle and a ready made excuse can be used to post a column?

Lionel Bossman Craft
2 years 11 months ago

That was a joke of an article. That Maddona reference was pretty lame. Our veterans have been outplaying these younger guys all season. Every year people talk about the Yankees aging lineup, but they’re still there contending in the postseason. Now if we want to talk about aging and ineffective rosters, the Philles would be a better example, especially seeing as at the start of the season they had the oldest average age of any MLB roster.

2 years 11 months ago

I’ve followed the Yankees since the 1970s. The media has reported on their aging line-up every year since then with the exception of the early 1990s when they collapsed to last place and then played youngsters.

2 years 11 months ago

The point that really gets overlooked by just about everyone is that, ever since the All-Star break, Strasburg has been the least effective member of the Nationals’
rotation; his 3.73 ERA trails Ross Detwiler
(2.79), Gio Gonzalez (3.05), Edwin Jackson (3.47) and Jordan Zimmermann
(3.67). He has been inconsistent, which is a deadly thing in a playoff pitcher – but is typical of a pitcher coming off of TJ surgery.

The irony is that, for all of the caterwauling about the Nationals’ decision to shut Strasburg down, it may well ultimately benefit the team. Funny world.

2 years 11 months ago

Or his slide is due to the drama around the entire operation shutdown? According to Davey Johnson that was to blame for his bad start today.

2 years 11 months ago

…because he’s so fragile and non-focused? Nice try.

2 years 11 months ago

I would think Davey Johnson knows him a tad better than you or me. He was apparently losing sleep because in his mind him being shutdown would be like letting his team down, I wouldn’t call that fragile I’d just say he really feels bad about the situation as well.

2 years 11 months ago

Bit misleading, before tonight his era after the break was 3.14.

2 years 11 months ago

I see what you’re trying to say, but trying to remove his last start to show he has a lower ERA is actually more misleading. His ERA is what it is since the All-Star break. It is 3.73, including his less than pretty start last night, which is probably more relevant than ones several starts prior.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending how the Nats handled this. It was done poorly. They turned this into a season-long story and seemingly never built a plan that would allow Strasburg to pitch in the postseason if they made it. They’ve also left Strasburg a bit exposed here. I know he’s not the one making the decision, but it places him in an awkward spot that was uncessary. Limiting his pitches is the right thing to do. How they’ve gone about it, both planning wise and media wise, is questionable.

2 years 11 months ago

Meh. If you are limiting Strasburg’s innings, the Nats played it right. A plan that allows Strasburg to pitch in the postseason presumes that they win the division (or even make the playoffs) without the full innings load from Strasburg. It’s only been the last couple of weeks that the team has been able to open any real distance in front of the Braves for the NL East (and they still haven’t put the Braves away). Having Strasburg available to pitch in October doesn’t do them any good if the Nats aren’t in the playoffs. I’d even argue that having Strasburg to pitch in October in the Wild Card game is worse than avoiding the Wild Card game (by winning the Division) because that’s essentially a coin flip game just to MAKE it to the ALDS.

2 years 11 months ago

^that, and his FIP during that time has been 2.88 – best in the rotation

2 years 11 months ago

“the union stance is that it has exclusive authority to regulate agents”

We shall see.. This (to me) is of great importance and appears to show an agency, in clear greed attempting to line their pockets and caught red handed.. Much more to come out on this.

The league had better act in it’s best interest with regards to these leech agents/agencies. It’s bad enough having that pompous ogre Boras around, acting like he is the king of manhattan, but purposely pointing their clients to PED’s and THEN actively covering it up?

That isn’t just a ban, but should have federal charges attached also and the Union can go to someplace warm with regards to that if they think can do anything to stop it.

2 years 11 months ago

This is such a lazy article and argument by Sherman.

Month of August players over 33:

Jeter- .350/.380/.561
Chavez- .365/.403/.587
Suzuki- .297/.317/.440

Ibanez- .196/.297/.321 in 64 AB
Jones- .143/.260/.238 in 50 AB

Ibanez and Jones averaged about 17 games each for the month of August while the starters like Jeter, Cano, etc played about 28 games. So that means both Ibanez and Jones have been playing off and on during the month. How about being intuitive and deducting that their decline in August and the first week of Sept has come from a cold streak vs reducing it to some sort of exhaustion or running out of gas?

Mariano (torn ligament in his knee) and Pettite (fractured leg caused by batted ball) are out because of issues that have NOTHING to do with age.

As far as the team getting old it’s not a long term issue for the most part. Obviously Arod is the pink elephant. Obviously Jeter can’t be counted on to keep hitting this way for the next 2 years. Sabathia and Tex aren’t young anymore but at 31 and 32 I don’t think their ages will play a major factor for at least 3 years. Will they be worth their SALARY? Perhaps not. Will they still be productive players? Most likely.

Players over 30 signed to multi year deals and what age they are signed thru:

Arod-age 41 (5 more years)
Jeter-age 40 (2 more years assuming he picks up option)
Texeira- age 36 (4 more years)
Soriano- age 34 (2 more years)
Sabathia- age 37 (5 more years)

**We are stuck with Arod, Jeter has not fell off a cliff YET and MAY still be a productive hitter for the next 2 year (see 2010 standards) and that would be fine if he can stay at SS (meaning not get noticeably worse). Soriano is not as much of an issue. To me, age 36 and 37 are not horrible cut off ages for Tex and CC. As long as they don’t fall off a cliff I can take a year or two of 25 a year from Tex if he can still provide good defense at 1b and if CC can still be a 200 IP/3.75-4.00 guy at age 36/37 then I’ll deal w/ it.

Other players over 30 on one year deals
Rivera @ 42
Ibanez @ 40
Kuroda @ 37
Feliciano @ 35
Garcia @ 35
Jones @ 35
Chavez @ 34
Swisher @ 31
Granderson @ 31

Majority of these players are not coming back next year. I would gladly take Kuroda and Rivera on 1 year deals. Swisher is solid on a 4 year deal. Grandy probably won’t be brought back after 2013 unless he has a monster year and fixes whatever his issues have been in 2012. Still Swisher and Grandy are productive at ages 31 which is what you expect.

Players nearing 30 who are extension candidates..
Cano @ 30 (in October)
Martin @ 30 (in Feb 2013)

**Martin is in no position to be more than a 1 year option especially with Romine in AAA. I like Martin but wouldn’t commit to him beyond 2013.

Cano has to be treated carefully. I don’t see any team giving him anywhere near $200 mil and neither should the Yanks. Much better deal comparison are…

Jose Reyes (signed a 6/$106 at age 28) and Adrian Beltre (signed a 5/$80 at age 31) as the floors and Matt Holliday (signed a 7/$120 @ age 30) and Adrian Gonzalez (signed a 7/$154 at age 30) as the ceiling.

Even if you give Cano an increase for playing a premium position I still don’t see anything that should put him above 8/$170 mil which I think includes your typical Boras/NY Yankee premium. I would much rather try and give him a higher average and fewer years (5/$120 mil) but I doubt he would sign that even though I wonder who might give that to him considering that the Sox had Pedroia, Nats have Espinosa w/ a great glove and a good bat (not a major need), Rangers w/ Kinsler/Profar.

The Dodgers, Phillies and Tigers have so many bloated contracts already. I can’t see them handing out a better contract to Cano. Maybe the Blue Jays? Doubt the Cubs would at this point in their rebuilding process.

Players from 25-28 who are extension candidates as they approach FA in 2013/14:

Gardner (28), Logan (27), Robertson (27), Hughes (26), Joba (26).

**None of these guys can/should command anything more than 2 or 3 year deals. Maybe you stretch it to 4 for Robertson since he’s been nothing but dominating over the last 3 seasons w/ a 2.49 ERA + 2.74 FIP + 12 K/9.

The key is to bring back/in the right veterans on 1 year deals and waiting until you can get some help from the minors. I would not be shocked to see a player like David Adams or Corben Joseph play exclusively at 3b next year @ AAA and if they continue to perform, move Arod to DH full-time by 2014 and see if Dante Bichette can be an impact player by 2015 or so. I don’t see the Yanks signing any non-current Yanks to major $100 mil + deals in the next two seasons. They can still compete for a WS by being smart about the smaller deals they make.

The key is we need guys like Gardner, Hughes, Joba, Pineda, Romine, Nova and Banuelos to be major contributors in 2013 and hope that we have some emerging AA/AAA player that proves they are as good as their stats indicate even though they aren’t valued as top 100 prospects (see Adams, Joseph, Almonte, Warren, Pirela, Mesa, etc).

2 years 11 months ago

Adams got moved to 3B in AA so I was thinking maybe that is where they view him as the long term man, he is a good hitter, won’t get a ton of power but may be a solid hitter. CoJo: I dunno where he will go, he has proven solid in AAA but he is blocked at 2nd and I have heard that his arm isn’t good enough for the left side of the infield.
I really don’t see how Dodgers could afford him. MLBTR has their payroll commitment for next year at $193M, and that is before arbitration elibles. I think Teix should be fine seeing as his deal goes till he is 36 for a 1B isn’t bad. Arod will probably shift to dh in a couple years, but I still think he should be a good hitter. Jeter still is a good hitter at 38. I’m actually not really concerned with Sabathia, unless he gets injured he still should be a very good pitcher. When he first came up he was more of a power pitcher, but nowadays he lives more in the low 90’s and relies on commanding hit pitches. This should work better as he ages, it’s the important transition for a pitcher to extend his career and he did it.

2 years 11 months ago

In response: Yes, the Yankees have an older lineup, and yes the Yankees will be fine moving forward. The age of the Yankee lineup has been a constant story in the media for a generation running, just as the Yankees winning has been a constant story.

2 years 11 months ago

I think more and more that this is a financial matter.

The following scenario is purely hypothetical.

Let’s say that there is documented evidence that multiple doctors told the Nationals that they should shut Strasburg down after some amount of innings, and the Nationals ignored that advice and let Strasburg pitch through the end of the season, through the playoffs, and into the World Series for a total of 210 innings (for sake of argument). Further, in game 6 of the World Series, Strasburg leaves with an elbow injury that turned out to be a reinjury of the ligament that was replaced in the TJ surgery. Issues occur from this injury, and Strasburg is out of baseball in two years.

How much money could Strasburg get from the Nationals when he sues for lost future wages because they ignored medical advice and pitched him excessively directly causing his injury? I know the Lerners have more money than some small countries, but that could easily be a $200MM lawsuit.

Just sayin…

2 years 11 months ago

Pretty pumped over the Jordan Steranka signing a few weeks ago.