Nationals Notes: Strasburg, Rizzo, Jackson

The Nationals are sending Ross Detwiler to the mound in a must-win home game against the Cardinals this afternoon. In the meantime here are some Nationals-related links…

  • The decision to shut Stephen Strasburg down appears to have irked people around MLB. Baseball executives are rooting for the Nationals to get eliminated from the playoffs, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. One GM said the Nationals “don’t deserve to win it” and another said "I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That's how strongly I feel about it."
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post points out that Washington GM Mike Rizzo has financial incentives to win big now, since a contract extension could be at stake (Twitter link). Though the decision to shut Strasburg down was debatable, it doesn’t seem to have been motivated by self-interest. Rizzo's contract covers 2013 and includes club options for 2014 and 2015, according to Kilgore.
  • Edwin Jackson's disappointing Division Series start will likely be the last one he makes with the Nationals, Deron Snyder of the Washington Times writes. “It could be, it could not be,” Jackson said. “That’s definitely not the way I wanted to end it.” The right-hander hits free agency this offseason.


76 Responses to Nationals Notes: Strasburg, Rizzo, Jackson Leave a Reply

  1. Ryan Graywacz 3 years ago

    Those are some strong words from the GM hoping they go down in flames….It was probably by a GM who hasn’t made the playoffs in a while and is jealous that they have the luxury to shut down a pitcher like Strasburg and still compete in the postseason.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Larry Beinfest

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        it was probably strasburg himself

        • MB923 3 years ago

          Sounds more like a Manny Ramirez type of thing if a player is to say that about his own team. I know you’re joking of course about Strasburg, but I’m not with Manny.

    • sjberke1 3 years ago

      Of course, if the Lerners ever let Rizzo go, either now or after his contract expires, there are quite a few teams that would immediately pursue him–maybe including the ones those GMs work for.

  2. MB923 3 years ago

    Whoa, some harsh things to say there..

    I’d like to see the Nationals win, but I would not feel in the least bit sorry for them if they lose. However I can’t say something as bad as “they don’t deserve to win”.

    • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

      The Nats are not asking for anyones sorrow. Rizzo doesn’t care about what others think and that is part of the reason he is so good.
      Those are extremely harsh words and un-called for.
      And now talk of Rizzo contract. Thats ridiculous, he is the person who made this team, he will be here. People overreact to all of this. The only opinions of the situation that matter are Nats fans opinions. And most of us understand the decision, so everyone else should stop making it a big deal.

      • MB923 3 years ago

        You pretty much can’t help of making a big deal about it when it’s always one of the top stories in baseball.

        • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

          Because people who don’t know what they are talking about write about it.

  3. vtadave 3 years ago

    I’m not sure I understand why other GMs feel so strongly about a personnel decision that another team has made. I don’t agree with it either, but let’s move on.

  4. Donskoy 3 years ago

    Gotta love all of the alleged comments from other GMs. They “don’t deserve to win it?” Well, they deserve to win it more than all the other teams not in the playoffs right now at the very least. And so what if Rizzo said that they’d be back? There isn’t anything wrong with confidence in your team and I’m pretty sure every other GM expresses that same “We’re going to win this year” confidence every year, before they, you know, don’t.

  5. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    They babied Strasburg and he still blew his arm out… I still don’t think it made any sense to shut him down and sacrifice your chances at a championship. This is what you play for.

    While their future is bright, there’s no guarantying they’ll ever be in this position again.

    • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

      Your just a sour phillies phan

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        not really, i agree with him.

        if there was proof that an innings cap post TJ was going to go a long way in keeping him healthy, they shouldn’t have started him at the beginning of the year.

        • Chris_RG 3 years ago

          It won’t, so long as his mechanics continue to be an absolute disaster. The Nats cannot see the forest for the trees, and they dismiss that mechanics are the problem.

          • lefty177 3 years ago

            Thank you, someone else that sees flawed mechanics, i’ll say this, if they don’t fix his mechanics, he’s probably going to end up like Sandy Koufax, a few great years then nothing

      • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

        Do I like watching the Nationals in the post season while my team’s at home? No. Obviously.

        That said, I’m a believer in taking advantage of an opportunity. The Nationals had the best team in baseball going into the playoffs. They’re trading a chance at a Championship for a chance that Strasburg stays healthy enough to propel them to a championship next year or sometime further down the road.

        If you could personally guarantee to me that Stephen Strasburg was going get injured sometime in the near future for throwing the 220+ innings its going to take to pitch deep into the post season, I’d be all for shutting him down. You can’t. You can’t predict arm injuries. For all this talk of shutting him down, he could tear his rotator cuff next season, you never know with pitchers.

        There’s ways to manage his workload that would’ve allowed him to stay fresh for the season. Can they win it all without him? Yes. Do I think they will? That’s to be determined. I personally don’t really care either way. I’m just stating my opinion on his innings cap.

  6. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    It’s just too bad that Montreal wasn’t able to be part of this postseason after MLB toyed with the Expos organization for years.

    • Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

      Probably all those anti-Nationals comments were coming from the few Expos diehards…

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        probably not, a lot of them have embraced the nats and become fans

    • withpower 3 years ago

      It’s a real shame there isn’t a baseball team in Montreal these days. It seems weird with just one Canadian team.

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        The Expos had a tremendous organization, but fate didn’t seem to deal them a kind hand. Had the best record in baseball at the time of the ’94 strike…some really good late 70’s and 80’s teams…best teams that never really won titles. Suffered from a lot of the same issues that baseball as a whole suffered from…drug use. Playing in Olympic Stadium in a limited market certainly wasn’t going to help. I’m guessing that MLB isn’t crazy about having a team in Toronto..even with that being a larger local market.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          I don’t get what you mean by your last statement.. why would the mlb not be crazy about having a team in toronto?

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            Exhange rate…limited appeal in the American market…I’m not saying I agree with it…but I’ve seen it mentioned in print before. But what I see is an ever increasing tv presence due to MLB.tv that’s allowed them to develop a cult like fanbase in the US. I’m really just saying that the MLB would love to see the Dodgers build a winner before Toronto does.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            oh for sure, but i doubt they mind the blue jays. Jays actually have a one of the better tv ratings in the league, partially because the fanbase is spread out around the country. but the LA and NY markets will always be tops.

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            The best thing that the Jays have going for them marketing wise is an excellent radio team in Howarth and Ashby. I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that the majority of those who are tuning in Toronto on MLB.tv are playing the radio broadcast over the video. My favorite broadcasters.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            sadly i do that… buck martinez is just awful

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            I can’t get past the nasal quality of his voice long enough to determine if the other qualities of his broadcasting are good. It’s probably a little like pizza….everyone has their own taste…..but there are a few broadcasters that are harsh on the ear. Surprisingly, the team I’ve felt has made a vast improvement in the past few seasons is Kasper and Brenly with the Cubs. They seemed like an odd couple at the start, but have developed an odd complimentary chemistry. Found myself actually enjoying their broadcast.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            his other qualities are atrocious, he mis speaks or messes up atleast once every 4 comments he makes.

            but what bugs me the most is his inability to stay quiet… sometimes after a homerun you just want to hear the roar of the crowd, not him talk about how thats his 4th homerun off a 2-1 count.

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            What I first noticed about the Jays radio is that they typically pump in the PA announcing the batter….my first radio game…first thing I heard was “Marco Scutaro” coming over the PA…..amazing…wish more teams did that. I know Vin Scully is a legend…and I understand that…but he NEVER shuts up.

  7. Aaron Egnor 3 years ago

    I’m rooting for the Cards. I’d love to see every World Series for the next decade won by the 2nd Wild Card team. That would change this ridiculous sudden death playoff system back to something respectable and strategic.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      I’d like to see them do a best of Two with that. Best of 1 is too short of course, and best of 3 is too much travel

      What I mean by a Best of 2

      The first wild card team gets back to back home games against the 2nd wild card team. The first wild card team needs to win 1 of 2 games to advance. If they win the first game then don’t play the 2nd game The 2nd wild card team needs to win both games to advance.

      • Guest 3 years ago

        It is not like the first wild card team deserves that advantage. They didn’t win the division and they may only be a game ahead of the team that is second. So explain to me why they deserve essentially a one game lead starting off?

        • MB923 3 years ago

          Nor should the first wild card team have their season come down to 1 game. I don’t hate the idea of a best of 3, but anything is better than a best of 1. And do you really think I care if Selig is against it? The same guy who is against instant replay and the same guy who decides an exhibition game get home field in the World Series.

    • Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

      If you don’t like the wild card system, then win the division. With the expansion era, I think everyone got too comfortable with having a wild card. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago where there were just two playoff teams…

  8. $22264602 3 years ago

    “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”

    When did Gregg Zaun become a GM!?

  9. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    I respect the decision, I don’t agree with it, but I very much respect it.

    Look Rizzo’s got balls. Plain and Simple.

    He made the decision that the health of one of his players was more important than the team success this year, his own job security, his teams potential Championship and many other things.

    He did what he thought was best for his players long term health, he made a commitment to it in the beginning of the year and he stuck by it. It could have been easy to change his tone once his team played better than expected, but he stuck to his morals despite criticism from many different people.

    I wish more people in this world stuck to their word for the better of other and not themselves.

  10. Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

    I completely agree with shutting Strasburg down, remember Mark Prior?

    • MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

      To me the issue isn’t limiting his innings (I think that is a good idea for a pitcher recovering from TJ), but the utilization of the innings limit. The Nats had a comfortable lead in their division throughout most of the year, he could have had starts skipped along the way, he could have made a short trip to the DL for a hangnail, or he could have been pulled from games earlier.

      The poor utilization of his innings prior to the limit is where my major complaint would come from.

      • Rob 3 years ago

        Its true. I remember reading that a few times months back. They were probably going to make the postseason so let him skip some starts and/or keep him at 5 innings. They could have easily had him skip 4-5 starts and cut back a few innings here and there and have him when he is needed the most.

      • Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

        Yeah I agree.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        #1 I’m not sure why it was ever an innings limit, should have been a pitch limit.

        #2. pretty sure skipping starts wouldn’t have been healthy, and there for counterproductive in keeping him healthy.

        • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

          I’m guessing his pitch limit was high due to strikeouts. A little surprised they didn’t try to roll out the 6 man rotation

    • Chris_RG 3 years ago

      Innings were NOT the problem with Prior. It was MECHANICS. Compare Strasburg and Prior’s mechanics. They are the same. Now compare their mechanics to Verlander. You’ll see a stark contrast. There’s a reason that guys like Verlander consistently pitch 200 innings throwing 97 mph fastballs and guys like Strasburg and Prior fall apart after minimal time in pro ball.

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        That’s true, but there was also genetics involved with Prior. He was a gamble longterm out of college. He’s only a flop because of that Bartman ball and Gonzalez booting the ball at SS. If the Cubs win that Series…everything after wouldn’t be what it is career wise….he’d have been injured surely…but there’s a chance he’d have been standing on the mound after the last pitch of the 2003 Series as well. Prior represents so much that is Cubs lore…

        • Chris_RG 3 years ago

          Still…the fact that their mechanics are extremely similar and they both have had major injuries with so little mileage on their arm is a big red flag.

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            Prior could have played slow pitch and ruined his arm. I wholeheartedly agree with you about mechanics….but some of the longest lived pitchers in the game threw very unorthodox. It’s just too easy to lay all the blame on mechanics. As it’s all too easy to blame longevity on mechanics.
            Lincecum is an interesting subject mechanic wise…..always looked like a Dontrelle Willis career path to me.

          • Chris_RG 3 years ago

            It’s more about the Inverted W elbow/arm motion than anything else unorthodox. Even guys like Drysdale and Smoltz, who had Inverted W mechanics like Prior, had injury filled/shortened careers. In Smoltz’s case, he extended his career by pitching in the pen.

          • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

            Smoltz was freakishly loose jointed. A tremendous competitor that would have been done much sooner if he hadn’t been so tenacious. There again….it was also genetics at play. Some guys overcome that..others can’t. No mechanical correction will change a physiological abnormality….sending them to the pen might lessen the physical burden and deter the risk…but even Smoltz got hurt in the pen.

          • lefty177 3 years ago

            Example A-Chris Young

  11. CT 3 years ago

    What would everyone’s reaction be if he’d continued to pitch into the Post Season, and blew out his elbow again?

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      what would everyone’s reaction be if he was stretching in spring training and heard a pop in his elbow?

  12. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

    “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”
    Why no love for the Nationals? I don’t get it. Why would other GM’s chime in as to whether the Nats deserve being there or not. Pitching is one thing, however that doesn’t explain why the Nats bats have gone silent.

  13. towney007 3 years ago

    I’m calling absolute BS/lying on Nightengale’s part. I can’t imagine a GM would say that about another one especially when there were more than a few *fantastic* baseball reasons not to push him past his innings limit. This is just reporters stapling narrative to something for the sake of it.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      what if it was the cards gm? that would make sense.

  14. I am pretty sure that the A`s have a guy who was in the same boat as Starsburg. They started their pitcher out in the pen and limmited him early so he could help in the playoffs.

  15. I wounder if jackson is kicking himself turndown that 30 mill deal over the next 3 seasons from my buccos, i doubt he sees anything close to that

  16. Natsfan89 3 years ago

    With as abysmal as the Nationals offense has been this series I don’t see how anyone can definitively say Strasburg would be the difference between the Nats beating the Cards.

  17. Chris_RG 3 years ago

    Will it take Strasburg getting injured again for the Nationals to realize that his “innings” or pitch count is NOT the problem? It is and will always his mechanics. They are VERY similar to Prior’s.

    It’s not exactly an accident that guys like Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander can throw hard AND pitch 200 innings a year while Strasburg crumbles after pitching, what, like 100 pro innings? Come on.

  18. slider32 3 years ago

    Strasburg couldn’t have been much better than Detwiler did today. Werth finally paid off! I like Gio tomarrow.

  19. slider32 3 years ago

    I still think the Nats are the best team in the NL, even without Strasburg.

  20. It’s not the innings limit.. it’s the process. If you saw the team was headed toward a special season, shut him down early or throw him in the bullpen for two months to slow down the clock. You play this game for championships and there’s no guarantee the Nats see this again anytime soon. You took away something that kid dreamed of forever… why exactly? What if he blows out his arm next year and this was his shot? Obviously I hope not, but these things don’t come around every year. Just ask my Met team… we only make the playoffs once a generation by accident.

  21. Guest 3 years ago

    *See Comment Above* “I don’t agree with it”

    However, Rizzo says that his medical staff believes that a pitcher shouldn’t put more than X innings on their arm following a TJ surgery he listens to them.
    Again, something I respect. Listening to the people you hired to advise you, simple concept, often ignored in today’s society.

    And anyways, a good setter is a rare find and puts their teammates in the best position to spike down the point.

  22. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    Note* “I don’t agree with it”

    However, Rizzo says that his medical staff believes that a pitcher shouldn’t put more than X innings on their arm following a TJ surgery, he listened to them.
    Again, something I respect. Listening to the people you hired to advise you, simple concept, yet often ignored in today’s society.

    And anyways, a good setter is a rare find and puts their teammates in the best position to spike down the point.

  23. Guest 3 years ago

    I don’t agree with it, however, Rizzo says that his medical staff believes that a pitcher shouldn’t put more than X innings on their arm following a TJ surgery, he listened to them.

    Again, something I respect. Listening to the people you hired to advise you, simple concept, yet often ignored in today’s society.

    And anyways, a good setter is a rare find and puts their teammates in the best position to spike down the point.

  24. WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY 3 years ago

    I really don’t know if it changes the dynamic across baseball…I think this is extremely situational. Different clubs obviously would’ve handled it a different way, and different players would’ve had different treatment. However, I do agree with your last statement.

    Edit: But not like a Cubs’ curse. Nobody deserves that…Except the Cubs.

  25. Completely disagree. It’s not arrogant, it’s protecting a massive investment. There is a huge difference. And, by the way, if they let Boras or Strasburg dictate their decision, he’d be pitching. This was the team’s decision.

  26. WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY 3 years ago

    I agree it’s protecting an investment, but in the spirit of competitive sports, what good is an investment that doesn’t win you a championship? They don’t give you a banner for selling jerseys or a big, shiny ring for putting fans in the stands.

  27. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    this only makes sense if there was concrete proof that less innings = no tj surgery

    which as we all know, there isn’t any direct correlation between the 2.

  28. Goat_Rider 3 years ago

    Ohhh burn. Trust me, the Cubs would have pitched him into the playoffs and a new career as journeyman minor leaguer or middle reliever.

  29. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    I agree that an innings limit was probably a good idea, I disagree with when/how those innings were used.

  30. MB923 3 years ago

    There’s 2 sides to every story. I respect your opinion as well. I just feel baseball is not a 1 game playoff sport especially when the 2 teams can be seperated by so many games apart, kind of like Cards and Braves this year, although the old system would still have had Rangers and O’s since both of them tied for the WC.

    I’m in agreement with you that a best of 3 manes too much rest for a division winner. Whcih is why I think a best of 2 COULD work. I know it isn’t going to happen of course, but there’s certainly a possibiltly a Best of 3 will happen at some point

    I just think a 1 game playoff is ridiculous And I have no problem with you disagreeing with me.

  31. vtadave 3 years ago

    Correct. Far more correlation between the number of pitches per game in excess of 100, 110, 120, etc. than in IP.

  32. slider32 3 years ago

    I have to think the Nats would be pitching Strasburg if they felt it was the right thing to do. They want to win!

  33. slider32 3 years ago

    They did the same thing with Zimmerman last year, so they are true to form. I don’t think we are more educated on the subject then they are.

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