With a Major League-leading 71-44 record, the Nationals have surprised the baseball world this season thanks to a balanced offensive attack and a dominant pitching staff. Led by Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals' young arms have the team on track to secure the NL East with only 47 games remaining.
Strasburg, 24 and less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery, will be forced to miss his last two to three starts and the entire postseason as the Nationals organization has set an unofficial innings limit for its young ace. There's no doubt the Nationals will be negatively impacted once Washington GM Mike Rizzo decides to call it a season for the former San Diego State star.
The question becomes how will the Nationals fare the remainder of the season when they shut down Strasburg, who's pitched to a 2.90 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.
Pitchers are injury prone regardless of the precautions an organization takes. I think shutting him down is absolutely ridiculous. He’s their ace and they’re not going to get far without him.
yeah that jordan zimmermann and gio gonzalez guy are both just awful. no way we can win with the likes of them
A four man rotation is used in the playoffs. So you’re saying the Nats would be no worse off by bumping up Gio, Zimmerman and Detweiler one spot each and add Jackson to rotation vs. Stras, Gio, Zimm and Detweiler? Not a chance.
The guys replacing him aren’t of that caliber though. Instead of going into a short series with Stras, Gio, and Zimmermann, it’s Gio, Zimmermann and Detwiler? You can win with anything but taking your Ace out of the rotation as a precaution is a terrible decision.
What happens if they start to fade down the stretch? Or Zimmermann or Gio get injured in September?
how is “miss the playoffs” honestly getting any votes, do some of you people not actually pay attention to the baseball season?
This would have been every Braves fan response at this time last year. Crazier things have happened
2 wild card spots this year, and Strasburg doesn’t actually have many starts left in the regular season
Making the one game wild-card showdown is still the post-season, just sans benefits of all the home games.
If they shut down Strasburg for September (which is certainly a possibility, depending on how the Nats do in September and how big the lead is) I guarantee he’ll be back for the playoffs.
Somehow I don’t think shutting him down for a month and then ramping him back up makes much sense.
They should sit him now, then let him make his last regular season start or two to get back into it. He should keep a regular light throwing regimen during the time off, too. That would be manageable.
I say there’s no way they sit him in the playoffs.
agree completely. not sure why this got so many dislikes. i know they said thats what they will do but i just dont believe it. we will see.
Agreed. You’re telling me an organization that has never been to the postseason is going to sit arguably the most talented pitcher in baseball because they don’t want to go maybe 30 innings over an arbitrary limit? Bull.
Except they will, because they are so concerned about the future… that they will throw away a legitimate attempt at the World Series. Strasburg is lucky if he wins 2 World Series in his career. Guys like Jeter who have 5, you know Core Four of the yankees, that doesn’t happen even rarely. This is just too rare, Here is a chance for one. That being said, Maybe they just don’t think they have a chance, I have mentioned this in 2 posts now, They lost 6 out of 6 games to the Yankees in Interleague Play, it may have been 5 out of 6, but that was when the Yankees won like 10 or 11 games in a row, and it went 3 against Nats, 3 against braves, 3 against Nats to start that streak i believe. No NVM i am sorry it was 10 straight wins against the NL but it went 3 against the mets 3 against braves 3 against nats 1 against braves, then they lost two to the braves.
Nats played 2 series with the O’s, 1 with the Yanks/Sox/Rays/Jays in interleague this year. Swept the Jays and Sox and had a poor home series against the Yankees and Rays.
I mean, you can put a ton of stock in a single midseason series if you want (and I’m sure you could make a legit argument that the Nats don’t match up well against the Yankees and would be the underdogs in the WS if it came to that, for sure) but 3 games isn’t going to be the reason the Nats don’t think they can win it all, if that’s really the attitude they have.
If you read my edit, down at the bottom of the page, you would see that the Yankees killed your division, it wasn’t just a hot streak they were significantly better, Sweeping the Jays is nothing to brag about. Sweeping the Sox was nothing to brag about… because at the beginning of the season their pitching was soooo terrible, it was just disgusting. It is getting a little better now, Buchholz seems to be settling down.
Yankees and Rays > Red Sox and Jays, so maybe you just beat worse teams? the Red Sox and Jays aren’t making the Post Season…….. So….
Yeah. If Strasburg is only to miss the last two or three starts, I don’t understand why people think that’ll cost them a playoff spot. Even if they fell out of first place, the NL East would still be poised to take the first Wild Card spot. Do we really think that two or three starts is going to allow three teams to leapfrog the Nationals?
But…. but…. I thought Strasburg and Harper were the only reason the Nats are where they are…
Who told you that? Harper isn’t really an above average MLB Offence presence as a STARTING OUTFIELDER. There are so many better names its depressing… .250 Batting Average 13 Stolen Bases 10 Homeruns 32 Runs Batted in and 82 STRIKEOUTS As of August 12th. He isn’t winning the Nationals any ballgames with those numbers, he is below average Starting Outfielder, but he is 19. And I will be damned if there is another 19 year old right now who can do that! That being said there have been plenty of better 19 year olds in history, so the hype is a little over exaggerated.
your sarcasm detector is broken…
I still think they take the division, and even without Stras there’s more than enough top of the rotation pitching there to make a deep postseason run.
If you don’t play your best pitcher in the playoffs to ‘save him’ – what exactly are you saving him for? Isn’t the entire purpose of playing to win in the playoffs?
I’d rather have a pitcher of Strassburg’s caliber for 6 years (if not more) than to get him hurt and be less effective for the sake of one post-season which my team is an overwhelming favorite to make.
One fatal flaw in your logic, this is about winning the post season, ie World Series, not about making it…. The Nationals will make it without Strasburg but they can forget about winning it, and trust me I would take a world series ring over an ace pitcher for 6 years, and maybe longer. And that’s assuming that he actually injures himself severely. And you want to know something about pitchers like Strasburg and Verlander, because they are very similar, they love to pitch they throw a lot of pitches/innings, although Strasburg will be stopped short, they can both throw 100 Miles. All this builds up arm strength, I don’t think he is so fragile that the Front Office needs to baby him. I think he was throwing 100 Mile Fastballs at a young age, it did a bit of damage to his arm which definitely doesn’t have the strength it has now from refinement in the MLB Systems, through training and the durability built up just playing through a 162 game season, and it also got time to make the recovery needed when he was on the DL and out of the game, I think i can logically assume his arm is stronger, and less susceptible to injury than when he was probably capable of throwing 100 Miles at 19 years old without the proper strengthening of his arm. I mean c’mon Jim Leyland says he will let Verlander throw 130 pitches whenever, if he looks good, because he isn’t worried about him injuring himself.
Which also makes me wonder—why instead of an innings count, wasn’t Strasburg on a PITCH count, starting low and then rising?
I always wonder the same thing on why Managers/GM’s/Coaches, etc. look at Innings pitched instead of a pitch count
Pitcher A averages exactly 7 innings and 100 pitches in every start in 30 games pitched. That’s 3000 pitches in 210 innings
Pitcher B averages exactly 6 innings and 100 pitches in every start in 30 games pitched. That’s 3000 pitches in 180 innings
It would appear to managers and coaches that Pitcher A threw more than Pitcher B when in fact they threw the exact same # of pitches
Which is what drove me crazy about the Joba Rules—perhaps a better strategy would have been to start Strasburg to about 2,800 pitches for the season…limiting him to 80 or so pitches for the first month and a half, then 90 to the ASB, a shutdown around the ASB and the first week or two after, and then 95 pitches a start the rest of the season.
At no point have the Nationals said an “innings count”. They haven’t given anyone a specific number of anything. They have said they are monitoring him and will be keeping an eye on him and decide to shut him down when they think it is the right time. The media has put out the 160 innings thing because that is what Jordan Zimmerman pitched last year after his recovery from Tommy John.
mike rizzo already said strasburg won’t exceed 180 innings
The Nats can still win a WS regardless as to having Strassburg or not. Strassburg isn’t some magic bullet or the sole reason that the Nats have made it into first place in the NL East. Their rotation from top to bottom is excellent. I’d be shocked to find any team that would have no interest in one of Gonzalez, Jackson, Detwiler, or Zimmermann.
All three have been pitching well, and not so far above their heads that it would seem unsustainable. Add in a health Morse and Zimmerman finally hitting his stride offensively, Werth coming back and playing better than ever, and you’ve got a potent lineup. Now, factor in Ian Desmond coming back and you’ve got a lineup that’s pretty scary 2-6 and a solid defensive team.
If Zimmermann, Gonzalez and Jackson isn’t a good enough top 3 to make a deep run into the post season then I’m not sure what kind of super rotation you’re looking for. Not everyone can field a rotation like the Phillies, but the Phillies aren’t going anywhere. I’m kind of hard pressed when looking at other rotations that might make it to find a top three that I like better. LAD with Kershaw, Billingsley and Capuano? Nope. Maybe the Giants Voglesong, Cain and MadBum. Ok, that’s a good rotation, but the lineup is easily shut down. No one on the Braves staff really inspires for this year, but their bullpen is sick. Maybe the Reds with Cueto, Arroyo and Latos, again, while they have a great ace, the rest isn’t that good.
So then lets look at the AL, shall we? Sabathia, Kuroda and Hughes from the Yankees? Not sure how much I trust Sabathia when he’s got an elbow injury, maybe Pettitte? That whole rotation is full of question marks. How about the Rangers? Harrison, Darvish, Dempster? No thanks, not bad pitchers, but Dempster in Texas is an ugly thought, Darvish has yet to really adjust to the league. The ChiSox have Sale, Peavy and Floyd, those three are pretty solid, they could be trouble. No one on the Orioles really inspires confidence, I’ve watched Hammel for most of his career and seriously doubt if he could return and continue to perform at the level he’s set for this year. The only pitchers the Tigers have in their rotation that can rival the Nats are Verlander and Fister. Weaver and Wilson are a good combination at the top of the Angels rotation, but I think I’d rather have Gio and Zimmermann.
So, basically, I’ve found two teams that I really feel could out pitch the Nationals, the Giants and the White Sox. Lets also not forget the Nationals deep bullpen that can easily keep games locked down. When you stand up the Nats vs those two on all factors; offense, defense, rotation, and bullpen, I see the Nats easily topping the Giants and giving the White Sox a good run.
This post is so biased man. You aren’t giving any team, besides the Nationals, credit. You’re basically saying that the Nationals have the best rotation without Strasburg. And that’s just not true. You really would rather have Zimmermann and Gonzalez over Weaver and Wilson? That’s just Crazy. You didn’t give the Giants any credit either. They have a nice team offensively now, don’t say they can “easily” be shut down. That tigers rotation is scary just because of Verlander alone! And the dodgers rotation, I want to defend them but I don’t wanna sound like a homer so I’ll leave it alone. I’m looking forward for our next meeting in Washington though.
You can call it biased all you want, but the numbers don’t lie. Do you really think that the Giants lineup with Sandoval back and Pence in RF is that much better than the Nats with Desmond back? You’re talking about a team made up of Theriot/Scutaro, Crawford, Pagan, Sandoval, Pence, Posey, Belt, and M Cabrera, Posey, Cabrera and Sandoval are the scariest bats in that lineup, vs Morse, LaRoche (any other year I wouldn’t list him as a plus), Zimmerman, Desmond, Espinoza, Werth, Harper and Flores/Suzuki? First off, Zimmerman and Morse have been hurt this year and have been starting to perform since the 2nd half, Werth was good, and has been great since his return from the DL, making 2011 look like a fluke. LaRoche is having a career year and looks to hit 30 HR. Desmond before hitting the DL hit 17 HR and had an ISO of .217. I think you discount the offensive production of the Nats a little bit too much. Add in the troubles Lincecum has been having and I think the Giants don’t fair so well vs the Nats.
And yes, I would take Gonzalez and Zimmerman over Wilson and Weaver, and there’s a few different ways of looking at it and coming to the exact same conclusion. First, look at WAR, Zimmermann and Gonzalez have 3.8 and 4.1 respectively, Wilson and Weaver have 2.4 and 3.0 respectively. Weaver has a K/9 of 6.91, Zimmermann has 6.81, Wilson has 7.66 while Gonzalez has 9.83, so the top two of the Nationals has better strike out rates than the top two of the Angels. Lets look at their triple slash, shall we? Wilson: 3.34/3.86/4.13, Weaver 2.22/3.41/3.98. Zimmermann: 2.35/3.27/3.52, Gonzalez: 3.32/2.70/3.20, again, the Nationals have the better overall pitching stats.
As for your vaunted Dodgers, I agree, it would be a difficult match-up for the Nationals to beat the Dodgers, I’ve actually talked about this frequently since the trade deadline, but the issue was pitching as I didn’t talk about offenses. But lets look at the WAR totals of the Dodgers top 3 vs the Nationals: Kershaw 3.9, Billingsley 2.6, Capuano 2.5. Gonzalez 4.1, Zimmermann, 3.8, Detwiler 1.7 (note that he was demoted to the bullpen when Wang returned, which limited his WAR totals). The Dodgers have 9 WAR while the Nationals have 9.6. It’s pretty much a toss up, but since I’ve never been a believer in Capuano or Billingsley I’m leaning with the top 3 of the Nationals, admitting that Kershaw is one of my favorite pitchers to watch.
One pitcher could mean the difference between winning game 1 or losing it, and thus setting the tone for the rest of the series, however, one pitcher isn’t enough to secure a deep post season run, and their defense is disgusting.
I’m not speaking as just a Washington Nationals fan, I’m speaking as a baseball fan. The Giants don’t have as good of an offense as the Nationals and their best pitcher has been terrible this year. The Dodgers have a had a terrible offense, but with new additions like Victorino and HanRam along with Kemp returning to form means that they got a lot scarier, however, their poor defense got even worse in the moves.
You say that you don’t want to sound like a homer, but you listed primarily West coast teams (and really, your only argument for Detroit was “VERLANDER!!1!” and two specifically from LA, while the Giants get a lot of coverage in LA due to the Dodgers rivalry and the playoff race. I’m not sure I get all the Gio hate either. Sure, Gonzalez had a great boost from the Colosseum, but he’s performing even better in Nationals Park, a move that many thought would be a negative one, and his biggest wart? All of those walks? They’ve been coming down every year, sure they’re above league average still at 3.45/9, but he’s offset that by striking out batters at a 9.83/9 pace, good for a 2.85 K/BB rate which is better than league average and he still gets a ton of ground balls. The real kick in the pants is that he’s been a little unlucky to boot! He’s only got a 70.2 LOB%, about 2% less lucky than the league average despite his better than average IF defense.
The haters in this thread need to wake up, the Nationals are for real.
I never said anything bad about the Nationals man. I know they’re for real. Just look at their record already. They’re in too deep to be a fluke. I was just saying that I didn’t feel you were giving the other teams any credit. And I don’t hate Gio, I wish my dodgers had gone after him. I’m not a Nats hater by any means.
Yes because the Nationals got creamed by the Yankees in Interleague play this year, by what was and is a devastating lineup from 1 through 9 compared to 3 names in the Nationals batting lineup this is a joke man. The rotation is a lot more solid than what you give it credit for its ridiculous. Kuroda has thrown so many gems this year, he is a great pitcher, Sabathia is getting extra unnecessary rest, They are just keeping him fresh, under the facade of an elbow injury, and even if he actually has one, they are babying it because they have pressure on them. Yankees went 3-0 against the nationals in 3 interleague games this year? It was slaughter. The yankees won 10 straight games against NL East Division Teams. Take away a stud like Strasburg, don’t joke.
Glad to see props to the White Sox (Quintana is better in their rotation than Floyd BTW), but would you really prefer Gio/Zimmerman to Weaver/Wilson? Jered is the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young at this point for crying out loud. The Nats are not to be trifled with, but there will be some stiff competition in the postseason and losing a starter like Strasberg can’t just be written off.
You are also forgetting one thing, and it is VERY fatal to your argument: Strassburg has already exceeded his highest IP in any year, professional or not. So you’re asking a pitcher, recovering from Tommy John, already exceeding his previous innings count for a given year, to push past the 160 IP limit that Dr Steven Andrews says is the maximum number a pitcher can safely go before risking further injury? I can see pitching him out of the bullpen to keep his innings down and maybe using him for an inning or two out of the pen in the post season, but you can’t ask the guy to go 200 IP because “Verlander could do it!”
Didn’t say that, I said they have common ground, in that they love to pitch they throw lots of pitches and they have hard fastballs. My point is, if you want to be durable you have to throw innings, but really pitches… If you want a guy to build durability you can’t shut him down. Because even if he throws 230 IP next year, the last 50 IP will be highly ineffective. This is including Post Season and Such.
And as to your notion that Strasburg never exceding 160 IP is fatal to my logic, I have said in a different post or maybe that one above, that Pitching in the MLB System, with 162 games a year, pitching once every 5-6 days, with Bullpen sessions working with the coaches, hitting the gyms. Your Arm Strength is incomparable to that of when you are in High School or College, and his arm should be stronger now than it was last year or the year before, and the deeper he goes into the season, the stronger his arm will get. Every pitcher has an increased chance of injury the longer the season gets, if the Season lasted 2 years, nonstop, very little pitchers wouldn’t get a major injury. Wear and Tear accumulates, but when you get an offseason after it, you come back stronger.
@facebook-539286945:disqus But you are saying that a guy who has never thrown more than 130 innings in a year should be pushed to close to 200 despite the fact that he’s essentially still conditioning after a major surgery? That’s ridiculous, it’s asking too much. Next year Strassburg can go ahead and pitch 200, 230, 250 IP if the he and the team thinks that it’s ok, but Rizzo, his doctor and the team have YEARS of medical research and exposure to Strassburg and have a better comprehension of what his situation is than any of us do.
Sure, the only way to ensure a healthy pitcher is to not let him pitch, so there’s an inherent risk regardless, but even if you’re Strassburg, do you want to throw away a career for one shot at the post season? I’m not saying it will happen, but it’s the realistic approach given what the medical experts know about TJ surgery and it’s recovery process.
But, reading your 2nd paragraph I can see that you’re determined to continue this flawed thought path. Strassburg was completely shut down for months, had to reduce his workload as part of his recovery. The guy essentially took a year off. Sure he threw simulated games, side sessions, bullpens, etc, but holy crap dude, he wasn’t pitching a regular MLB schedule last year! He needs to be allowed to recover. We’re not talking about a minor injury, we’re talking about a fair significant surgery.
The team and doctors know what’s best for Strassburg and they also know that they are playing at a competitive level at least a year before they expected to. Strassburg will be fine, let him build up to 200+ innings rather than just toss him out there and hope for the best. All the workouts that they do to keep conditioned and ready for game action are done in between normal games, so if he’s not playing normal games and just doing normal in-between stats workouts do you really think he’s ready for that kind of workload?
But there is no indication that they are shutting him down for any other reason than on principle because he just recovered from Major Surgery, that is the true issue here, They are shutting him down on principle, if they can honestly tell us, well his stuff is looking a little less effective, and he has been experiencing some pain, he doesn’t look right on the mound, something other than he just had surgery so he gets shut down because he had surgery and after surgery you get shut down early, because thats we do it because thats how it is done. That makes no sense. You shut a guy down because you are supposed to? No you shut a guy down to prevent an injury that you see signs of, not to prevent a ghost injury that there is no evidence could occur. Like if Strasburg comes with a 94-96 MPH fastball to a game, okay I’m worried pull him. Shut him down for 2 weeks throw him on the DL let him recuperate something, But if he is throwing 100 MPH with no issue, Why shut him down?
Actually, most doctors will tell you that his elbow is STRONGER than it has EVER been. You’re also saying that he needs to recondition himself but that’s exactly what he’s been doing. The surgery takes all of 6 hrs and the next 200-250 days are the recovery process.
Look I see the desire to limit his innings but you are spurting on info as if it’s factual.
@YanksFanSice78:disqus This is something that the team, medical staff and Dr Yocum came to a consensus about, just because it’s stronger doesn’t mean it had the endurance yet. The idea is to keep him from getting to the point where there starts to be a problem. If you keep him from starting an injury because you’re careful with him, then the team will be better off.
I’ve never, ever heard Andrews state an IP limit for a guy coming off of TJ surgery. Logic says that less is better but there is NO set limit.
“Based on numerous studies he has been involved in, Andrews said most
shoulder and arm surgeries in youth, college and professional baseball
are related to fatigue in the arm. And high pitch counts are a big
factor in the fatigue.
Pitching too much in one game, one week or one season is a very high
risk factor, he said. The problem is the injuries dont always show up
when they pitch too many pitches at age 15. When you see a pitcher at
age 22 start developing a problem, you go look at their history and most
times you find out they threw too much as a teen.”
Now, he’s not giving a set limit, however, it’s safe to assume that a guy who’s never thrown 130 innings before, who is now above that line for the first time and is a season removed from TJ surgery should probably be more limited. Andrews says that arm fatigue and soreness are when you should pull pitchers, but big league pitchers rarely going to admit when they have a problem until it starts to become too big to ignore. Guys like Strassburg most likely wouldn’t say a word in the middle of a pennant race, making it extra difficult. Do you really, I mean REALLY not think that Rizzo, his staff and Dr Yocum talked about the issues surrounding Strassburg and came up with a more or less scientifically sound solution to prevent excessive wear and tear on his body? Are you that arrogant to think that you really know better than them?
Why can’t they shut Strasburg down now and preserve him for the post season (if they make it)? They’re winning on days he’s not pitching so why not play their buts off and try to do it without him for the time being? And if they drop in the standings too much or go on a big losing streak they can always bring
Strasburg back if they need him.
Well then good news! They’ll have their best pitcher in the playoffs. His name is Jordan Zimmermann (at least this year).
no. not even close
Zimmermann has been better than Strasburg, especially for the last month or two. Stras has the best stuff but Zimmermann is a better/smarter pitcher right now. He’s just not as sexy because he’s embraced pitch-to-contact.
I GUESS if you want to lock at ERA and compare Zimm’s 2.35 ERA vs Stras’ 2.90 then maybe you can make a case. But if you dig deeper and compare Stras’ 2.72/2.78 FIP/xFIP to that of Zimm’s @ 3.27/3.52 along with the 31% to 20% K rate then I would suggest differently.
Hands down, Stras has the ability to dominate at any given time and to pith himself out of jams while taking the defense completely out of the equation. In a tough series that’s extremely important.
How do those splits progress throughout the season though? Zimmermann has been getting better, Strasburg seems to have been getting worse (or, rather, he’s gotten into this odd good/great – soso/bad rhythm where he lays a bit of an egg then bounces back really well) and right now Zimmermann seems more trustworthy. Especially in the context of the playoffs and given Strasburg’s propensity to let his emotions get the better of him at times.
Pick one, Strasburg or Zimmerman, don’t think about the season, don’t think about anything else but these two pitchers, its Game 7 of the WS, Who Starts? And don’t lie and tell me Zimmerman. That is the difference between these two, You just wouldn’t trust Zimmerman with Game 7 of the World Series.
There’s no way I can make the choice without some indication as to how they’ve been performing up to that point. If you tell me both are at their best, Stras no question. But if you tell me Stras is having trouble staying cool mentally and Zimnn isn’t, and they’re trending in opposite directions, I can’t just ignore that in a high pressure situation. I’ll put it this way: right now, in a given series, I have higher expectations for a Zimmermann start than I do for a Strasburg start. For Stras, I’m thinking feast-or-famine while leaning towards feast. For Zimnn, I pretty much know he’s going to pitch a gem every time.
Fair Enough, but the point i was trying to bring across and I think you understand this, is that You have Faith in your Ace, There is faith there, he is the one who leads your team, Pitching is probably more important than Offence to be honest, and the Ace is the lead pitcher, You will trust him more than Zimmerman instinctively, because he is the Ace, and that will be the person the Manager sends out, because if you don’t, assuming he wasn’t shut down and all that, you will be ridiculed you will be questioned why didn’t you send out the Ace for the Game 7 of the World Series… It doesn’t fly, your Ace Pitches that game no question.
Seems sort of shortsighted to just judge over the last 2 months of starts.
But anyway, the arguement isn’t Stras vs Zimm it’s Stras vs whoever would replace him in a 3 man rotation. So it’s Stras vs Ejax or Detwiller?
FIP- ERA- SIERA tERA AVG BABIP
A 70 73 2.72 3.15 .223 .310
B 84 59 3.60 3.94 .233 .271
there is nothing to talk about. the better pitcher is really, really obvious
it seems stupid to me to worry about 2 or 3 starts and the post season at this point. if they had an innings limit on him, they should have made him miss more time before the all star break so he could maintain a rhythm to finish out the season and be strong for the playoffs.
I still think they can get to the World Series. Zimmermann-Gonzalez-Jackson-Detwiler is still better than most NL contenders have.
The Nationals are going to win the World Series. This is their game. This is their field. You CAN’T BEAT THEM.
Is this a Nike commercial?
Nope, not gonna happen man. Hate to break it to you, the team is just not ready for that amount of success. It just doesn’t have the roster. They are extremely good, but not THAT Good. especially without Strasburg. can’t see them making the CS
An “Extremely good” team isn’t good enough to win the WS? How much better can you be than extremely good anyways.
Dude, 0 and 6 against the Yankees. Thats how much better they could have been this year. No NVM i am sorry it was 10 straight wins against the NL but it went 3 against the mets 3 against braves 3 against nats 1 against braves, then they lost two to the braves. But still this shows the Yankees domination of the NL East division.
0 and 3, and one of those games was a blown call at home away from being a win (and even then it took Brad Lidge to sink it in extras). Huge sample size there…
Yep i literally just fixed that, Sorry lol, but the Yankees won 10 straight against your division, I was giving an example of how much better you can be than Extremely Good to Nice Game Pretty Boy….. You want the standard, the Yankees have always been the standard.
Yeah, that makes sense especially given their stock of wily veterans. So much of the Nats postseason chances would be left up to luck of the draw in terms of matchups, though, I think. I mean if they fold they fold but otherwise…
I think they lack experience honestly, I don’t think even with Strasburg they could win the World Series, But i would concede it to be possible, without Strasburg I wouldn’t bother conceding that because they already are disadvantaged in the sense that there are 10 teams who make the post season, So I can safely predict they will lose, when they don’t have him, and it will probably fall as so.
What is the possibility they move him to the bullpen to limit his innings and still have him in the playoffs?
I don’t understand why the Nats just don’t shut him down now and save the remaining innings for the playoffs
They said they tried something similar with Jordan Zimmermann last year(shuting down, and than starting back up) and it didnt go well pwer Mike Rizzo
He won’t be effective, he will be out of practice, his stuff won’t have the crispness, he will get destroyed. Heck he probably won’t have his command.
If there will be a shutdown—why not do it right after rosters expand (having John Lannan, who has spent almost the entire season in Syracuse, taking his spot in the rotation), so that Strasburg is available for the postseason run, but have Strasburg then make a start at the end of the season so that he can start the postseason on normal rest? (The Syracuse Chiefs will likely miss the playoffs.)
In the postseason, only twice since 1990 has a World-Series winner won it all while using less than 4 starters.
Well.. I’m thinking Strasburg will be shut down somewhere around 180 innings, leaving a handful of spot starts likely for Lannan, whose shown himself perfectly capable of doing so far this year against the Braves and Marlins.
I’m confident that the Nationals end up making the playoffs, and will go with a rotation of Zimm, Gio, Detwiler, Jackson (with Detwiler and Jackson potentially swapping with one another).. That’s still a pretty solid rotation.
On the plus side for the Nationals, the offense has picked up where it slacked off in the 1st half by putting up 156 runs in 32 games (Tied for 2nd in the Majors), all without Ian Desmond who is having a breakout year, and is due back in late-August, early-September. If the offense continues at the current trend (it’s hard to imagine the getting worse with Desmond returning), then it should more than make up for the loss of Strasburg, in my opinion.
I’m going to be optimistic and say the Nationals make it to the NLCS.
You only get stronger if you throw more. It is a simple solution so shutting him down early does nothing for this season. He is capable of going deep into the season, and a rotation featuring him at the top, they could win it all.
I’m baffled why the Nationals management didn’t handle this more sensibly. So many options exist that are better than the one they chose:
– don’t play him until mid-May
– start him once every six days instead of once every five
– pull him earlier in games throughout the season (i.e. 5-6 IP/start) so that he doesn’t rack up innings so fast
– give him a month off at the All-Star break
– have him skip a start once a month
And what kind of bizarre message are they sending Strasburg or baseball or fans when they basically rush him back from Tommy John last season to pitch meaningless games only to have their first quality season (this year) in forever, and announce midway through that they’re benching their best pitcher.
I think this is more for Rizzo to cover his bases than it is for Strasburg’s health. If something should happen, at least now Rizzo can say, “Well, we only played him 160 innings, so it’s not our fault.”
It’s just plain clumsy, the whole thing.
Meaningless games???? His Ws are defiantly purposeful…have you seen the ATL record? Rushing him is worthy of debate, like the option you mentioned they have kept him under 7IP per start. I have been at the stadium for a couple personally and he looks labored despite the limits. He is still learning how to balance his filthy repertoire and pitching to contact so he can max out innings pitched.
In the end, I think, the time has come to shut him down. I know it is silly and absurd but this is just not the year we were or are focused upon. Jordan Zimmerman is not as flashy, but myself and people that know sabermeterics (Dave Cameron) know that J. Zimmerman is better than both Gio and Stras. A rotation of J. Zimm, Gio, and Edwin is not as good and likely the death sentence, however, it is playoff worthy and COULD BE VERY nasty. If not, oh well, next year nobody is going anywhere and the young team gets one year older, wise, and more capable.
They rushed him back to pitch meaningless games LAST YEAR.
Those “meaningless games” last year were the foundation for returning this year with momentum. He was in the middle of “rehabbing” the injury last year and the minor leagues were done. Are you proposing they just stop him cold turkey halfway through his active recovery? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Also, the “clumsy handling” concept is a complete joke as well. If Stras hadn’t pitched until May they would have been missing his starts at the beginning of the season and may not even be in the position to be discussing shutting him down for the postseason. Same goes for shutting him down at the allstar break. As a team you want to get as far ahead of your opponents as possible to make the stretch run EASIER. Why would you want to be playing catch up? Calling Rizzo out on this is flat out dumb. The man also went out and signed Edwin Jackson so IF they made the playoffs you would still have 3 solid starters to go with and he kept John Lannan, who is a slightly above average starter in AAA all year for the scenario. Lannan has pitched effectively twice this season already and to me that looks like Rizzo covered the team pretty well. Not to mention he also hoarded Zack Duke in AAA in case of a real emergency.
Not play him until mid-May is 100% hindsight. Then if the Nats DON’T make the playoffs that’s like a 4-4.5 month season. You want him to pitch the full 5 month season on regular rest. The Nats were projected to win 87-88 games at most after winning 80 last year. If the Nats win 99 games, that is a 19-game increase, NO ONE could have predicted that. No one did, look around at the pre-season predictions, they are all in the range of 84-88 games.
The reality is that there is no substantial proof that season IP’s leads to injury, post tj or not.
Stras was babied in the nats system to begin with and still ended up getting hurt. I’m all for protecting the kid, he’s the type of pitcher you build a team around. but with so little conclusive evidence its a bit shocking that they would shut him down. Reality is he could get hurt his next start or alternatively, next spring training.
I Am going to break this into two segments, first how I think they will fare without Strasburg, and my opinion on shutting him down.
First off, I do not consider Gonzalez or Zimmerman to be remotely near the same class as Strasburg, I think Gonzalez will more than likely choke in the playoffs, he just seems 100% shakeable and I don’t feel confident in his ability to hold it together in the post season. Strasburg is extremely young, but his stuff is dominant whereas Gonzalez is good I just don’t consider him Ace material, that can carry a playoff staff, and then I am even more perplexed as to who would be their third pitcher in a minimum 3 man pitching rotation that could actually be counted on in the high pressure situations. And honestly I don’t think Zimmerman is #2 quality but he is worthy of a spot in a playoff rotation. However, the nationals are blessed with an extremely versatile bullpen possessing quite a few lefties i think it is at least 3? That is something worth mentioning. End Result = Division Series Loss. I’m not sure if they were making it through the Division series with Strasburg, they had a good chance but a lot of their players just haven’t been there done that, without him, I just don’t remotely see it happening now.
My opinion of shutting Strasburg down, it is both a good move, and yet an overly cautious move, the thing about the Nationals is that they look to be like the Blue Jays or perhaps also Giants, and that is in a position to get stronger in the future, as Harper develops and their younger talent develops. Zimmerman hasn’t had a great year, so he may rebound, and well it wasn’t terrible its just not zimmerman-esque. He hasn’t stayed healthy all year, his average is down a little, power is down a little and strikeouts look to be up a little. But that is just roughly ballparking, he is still a great player who plays premium defense on top of his bat. So to ensure Strasburg’s health moving into this stronger future, is crucial as he is the face of this franchise not Harper, a guy who makes the all star team based on the fact he is 19 and nothing else is not YET the face of this franchise, but he very well could be in the near future, but he isn’t a stud yet, he is just I think i can safely say the best 19 year old baseball player in the world right now, and that doesn’t mean as much as you would think, it doesn’t win a world series, it doesn’t win your team 90 games in a season. But it does make you an exciting player to watch, and his antics are just part of him maturing i’m sure and i’m sure i will get over my dislike of him soon. But honestly, the Nats are making the Playoffs!!! How are you gonna go in there without one of the best pitchers in the game, it’s technically smart, but way to tell your fanbase you don’t care about the present. C’mon, they should have been limiting Strasburg to 6 innings a start throughout the year, made him pitch a regular 6 innings every 5 days, and saved those innings for the post season where maybe he could have gone 9. They have a decent bullpen, is the Front Office so stupid they couldn’t find an alternative than making your best player watch from the sidelines during a world series push? I’m sure Strasburg is thrilled with that, Oh wait he did say “They are taking the ball out of my hands over my dead body” or something to that effect. Sheer Incompetence and inflexibility, this front office did little more than draft obvious studs with the high draft picks they got from putting terrible teams on the field over the last few years. Fire them.
Edit: Sorry for the long, and highly opinionated and perhaps extreme opinion, but this isn’t a complete franchise by any means, this is just the franchise with the best combination of star power, Major upcoming talent, Young Studs, and Potential to Compete and perhaps win a world series as soon as next season, But it isn’t as well rounded as other Franchises yet honestly, but its so exciting to ponder the prospect of the Washington Nationals Success!!
When does your book go on sale?
Lol, good one. Yeah I know its a long opinion and yada yada, but seriously people can’t just look at the Nationals and this decision as okay 1 pitcher down, we are still the best in the NL East, we can win the World Series. Because they played the Yankees 3 games in interleague play this year, and they lost all of them. They got killed. Take out an ace like strasburg, No Chance. You don’t even give yourself a chance at winning the World Series. Add a lack of experience from most of their players in terms of going to the post season. There is a lack of veteran presence on this team.
I doubt they anticipated being this good this year.. but in hind sight they really should have started him a month or 2 in to the season.
Yup, Rizzo thought he was a year away so now he is in a bind
Perhaps, but being better than you are, how is that an issue? So you limit how deep he goes into a game, you give him 6 instead of 8 or 9 innings, you skip a couple regular season starts. I dont know, Surely Strasburg prefers that to missing the post season and watching his team most likely lose from the sidelines.
How does this post get a dislike?
Why don’t they simply limit his innings starting from now, and then allow him to pitch in the postseason? From now until the last week of September, schedule him to pitch only a few innings every 5 or 6 days… and then give him a start at the end of September before the playoffs.
That sounds a lot like the Joba Rules…an episode I’d rather not revisit as a Yankee fan, as his elbow still got hurt.
Because it would put an undue burden on the Nats bullpen to constantly be called upon to pitch 4-5 innings every time Strasburg was scheduled to pitch. Nats value and rely upon their entire pitching staff, not just 1 superstar in the making at the beginning of his career. Very possible that the Nats won’t be in this position again in the future but it’s more likely that they will. I’ll take my chances this year w/o Strasburg in the playoffs and enjoy the possibilities of the future with the Meyers and Golitos and other quality pitchers in the organization taking the place of the likely to be departing Edwin Jackson. And oh yeah…an unrestricted Stephen Strasburg joining Zimmerman and Gonzalez as an imposing Big Three.
This is completely ridiculous! Why didnt they just give him some extra time between starts throughout the year?? Or even as someone else proposed started him 2 months into the season?? Terrible player management in this situation.
I’d have been curious about giving him extra time between starts, but extended rest has worked poorly for some of the Nats’ young pitchers in the past and it makes sense for them not to want to mess with his schedule more than they have to. If you believe that everything he does this year still counts as a sort of rehab, well then conditioning him for a 5-man rotation is probably pretty important.
Strasburg has not been the best pitcher on the Nats this year so all this out of town wailing about his being shut down is somewhat misplaced. He has shown the same brilliance and struggles that Jordan Zimmerman showed last year coming off of TJ surgery and the team’s prescription for handling Zimmerman has paid huge dividends this year. No question the rotation is better with Strasburg in it but I suspect there are quite a few teams that would be happy to have a playoff rotation of Zimmerman, Gonzalez, Detwiler and Jackson with Storen and Clippard as closers and a deep supporting bullpen as well.
Strasburg’s innings last year were not about rushing him back…it was about giving him confidence that the surgery was successful heading into spring training this year. The kid has not had one major league season where he went to spring training with the team and then broke north with the big club. Providing this normalizing structure for Strasburg this year meant that he wasn’t going to pitch through October if the team made it that far. The fact that the Nats may have overachieved ahead of their own timetable this year shouldn’t and doesn’t mean that Rizzo should abandon his carefully plotted development plans for this franchise. As frustrating as it might be, most Nats fans, starved first for baseball and then winning baseball, are more than accepting of the team’s plans.
Shocked this post has not received more likes. Most sensible post on the issue. Maybe these points have been mentioned before in above posts but this is a good summary of why SS will be shutdown, how it is not the end of the world for them, and Nats fans, as contrary to popular belief, will be agreeable with the arrangement.
Anyone who thinks that Stras isn’t going to be shut down doesn’t know Mike Rizzo. Anyone disagreeing with this move has obviously never heard of Mark Prior. Would the Cubs have been better off to have had him for the past 9 years rather than ride him for that one season in 2003?
Pointing to Mike Prior means nothing. You can’t compare the innings/pitches thrown by pither A vs pitcher B.
2000: @ USC threw 129 IP
2001: @ USC threw 138 IP
2002: 1st season: 50 IP in the minors + 116 IP in the majors for a total of 166 IP
2003: 2nd season: 211 IP in the majors.
2004: 3rd season: injured and only throws 118 IP
1998 @ age 17 threw 40 Ip
1999 @ age 18 threw 153 IP
2000 @ age 19 threw 117 IP
2001: 150 IP thrown in the minors.
2002: 9 IP in the minors and 108 IP in majors for a total of 117 IP
**MISSED GAMES DUE TO ELBOW INJURY
2003 -2007: 200+ IP in 5 consecutive seasons.
I think it’s fair to say that Prior’s work load increase was gradual. He was free of injury prior to coming to the majors and going from 130-140-160-211 seems reasonable for a guy his age. Z was younger, had more of a dramatic increase in IP AFTER suffering some elbow issues and was the epitome of a work horse. Same organization…same manager.
Use the Woods and Priors of the world as a cautionary tale but let’s not act as if there’s a DIRECT cause and effect between the innings thrown and injuries occurred. Plus Prior had no injury history like Stras does so he’s a poor example.
If IP = Injury then guys like Gibson, Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Jenkins, Spahn would not have had the lengthy careers they have. Even a guy like Buerhle has been incredibly durable.
Agree. Mike Rizzo is the stubbornest guy on earth, just ask Jim Riggleman. Plus, Rizzo came up by way of scouting. He will use the best medical advice and his own scouting eye. Stras will pitch between 162-180 innings, end of story. All the ideas of skipping starts, shutdown restart, etc. you thing Rizzo hasn’t thought of that????? Maybe you want to blow your arm out in a possibly fruitless attempt at a WS, but what if it means no hundred million dollar career, no Hall-of-Fame AND no WS ring. The postseason is a crapshoot. Do what is best for your player’s health, as best you understand it, and let the OTHER 25 guys–who are NOT chopped liver, go for it.
What’s with all the anti-Nationals post on here? I mean it’s a freaking post about the Nationals. Shouldn’t it be Nationals fans posting on here?
It isn’t Anti-Nationals, its just a collective sense of Agreement that WITHOUT Strasburg the team is not complete. Obviously it is better with him, and that the management IS throwing away what you are right to say is a LEGITIMATE chance at the World Series,
And wow, way to edit your post to make half of mine make no sense lol.
They’ve said they are going to skip 2-3 or his remaining starts thus saving his innings. I don’t believe they’ve actually said he will not pitch in the post season, that would be just plain stupidity. If I’m Strasburg I’m standing on the manager’s desk demanding the ball for games 1,4 and 7. You never know when you’ll get to the post season again, you have to try
to win with your best. He has the winter to rest and they can if
they wish hold him out of next year’s opening month. Since the advent of the playoffs the best team over the season isn’t guaranteed a spot in the World Series, ask the Phillies. To throw that chance away because of some stupid, unproven and subject measure of tiredness or arm stress would certainly cause a fan revolt and be looked on by the rest of the world as some kind of mental deficiency.
Strasburg will pitch; count on it.
I’m almost certain they’ve come out and said that once he’s shut down, he’s not being reactivated. And that’s the only logical way to do it. If you’re truly shutting him down then trying to quickly ramp him up again for the postseason is a recipe for disaster. If you’re giving him light work to keep him semi-ready then you’re not truly shutting him down.
if that’s the case it’s nothing short of stupid. Strasburg should have a say in this, it is his arm after all. I’m pretty sure he wants the ball and he should get it. They are certainly close enough to make the post season with him throwing minimal innings but eliminating one of the best pitchers in baseball from your roster betting on being back year after year is a fools bet. You can’t bet on what may come tomorrow you have to win this when you have a chance. The future isn’t guaranteed. In 58 Man United’s Busby Babes were destined to rule European soccer for years. Then their plane crashed killing 21 of the 44 people on board and devastating the franchise for 16 years. He could get struck by lightning, hit by a car; you just can’t prevent everything.
Players are not happy with this decision and if they lose the discontent will be impossible to hide.
People seem to forget the guy has never pitched more than 120-130 innings in a year in his life before. All the sudden you want to ramp him up into the 210-230 inning range (if they go deep in the postseason). That is more ridiculous than any complaint against shutting him down. If anybody has watched him pitch lately he isn’t close to being the Nationals best pitcher. Sure he has his brilliant moments but his control is off and he is dealing with inconsistencies. Most pitchers after TJ surgery have ups and downs the year after. Add that in with the fact that he is more than likely tiring out and then you have a double whammy.
Besides that fact not once have the Nats put an “innings limit” on him. Rizzo has said time and time again they will observe him and shut him down when they deem necessary. The media has instituted this 160 innings limit thing based on what Jordan Zimmermann pitched last year.
Until they do it or even say publicly they intend on shutting him down who knows or cares? Cross that bridge, etc.
The thing people seem to forget about this entire Strasburg thing, is that almost every single starter has their innings gradualy increased, by way of how the minor league scheduals work, but Strasburg was so good that he wasnt in the minors long enough for this, and than he got hurt so they couldnt limit his innings last year.
Shutting down an ace pitcher during a playoff run is simply absurd. The Nationals have a lot of good young talent but you never know when the next play-off opportunity will come up. I think it’s naive of the Nationals to assume that they’re going to be in the play-offs year in and year out so they can afford to go into this one without all hands on deck. Remember… the 2006 Mets were stacked with young talent and haven’t seen the play-offs since Adam Wainwright’s curveball. It seems like the Nationals are taking future play-off appearances as a given. That is a huge mistake and it sends a terrible message.
Should the 86′ Red Sox have shut down Roger Clemens before the play-offs? He only threw 98 inning in an injury plagued 1985 and was coming off of shoulder surgery. He threw 156 more innings in 1986 (254 total innings). The Red Sox would have never even considered shutting him down unless his production severely declined. He put up a line of 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA with 248 strike outs. They weren’t like… “we going to be in the play-offs for years to come and we don’t want our young pitcher to get hurt”. A fan base like Boston who understands how important the opportunity for a World Series is would have rioted. It’s simple… you don’t take the play-offs for granted and you go in with all hands on deck. Nothing short of that should be acceptable to a fan base.
Also… Roger Clemens was a year younger than Strasburg is now in 1986.
This maybe the worst baseball move since Bud Selig calling the All-Star game a few years back. Are you kidding me? The fans in Washington deserve better. I can see limiting his innings till the end of the year to save him for the post season at the very least. Even shutting him down till the playoffs doesn’t make sense. Pitchers need rhythm, that won’t work. This is just another effect of the modern day contract and over bearing agents that have way to much to do with the sport. The same reason why an “ace” can’t seem to go more than 6 innings with a pitch count of 100. In the 70’s and 80’s pitchers like Gibson and Ryan would pitch 140 per game and pitch two games a week! If I was a Nat fan I would be pissed! As a BoSox fan, trust me, I know what it’s like to win your 1st WS of your time. If you told me I could have a WS ring for one year of Strausburg I’d take it. You think this will save him for the next 6 years? Nobody is promised tomorrow so take what you have today! Why do you think “prospects” are so expendable in the MLB. Trade a guy who might be good for a guy who is proven good? Every time!
I’m rooting for the Nats this year, it would be a great story. Good luck 🙂
Ah, but there’s the rub—you aren’t a Nats fan. We have wallowed in mediocrity, and worse, since the Nats returned–hell, even for the preceding 30 years when we were without a hometown team. Now, as the team sits on the cusp of greatness we can look to the diamond and see this: The starting catcher (even though he was injured early in the season), the starting second baseman, the starting shortstop, the starting third baseman, the starting center fielder and four of five starting pitchers from the team with currently the best record in baseball are 27 or younger. They are poised to spend money not only securing their own young stars for years to come, but also to bring in top free agent talent to fill the gaps that appear from year to year in all teams’ lineups.
We, as Nats fans, have to believe that they will be in this position for years to come. Perhaps not the best record in baseball (but really, none of us believed this was possible at the beginning of the year, either), but certainly in the thick of the playoff hunt. And we, as Nats fans, and I’m talking about those of us who have suffered through consecutive 100 loss seasons, a starting rotation “tryout” in spring training, and the likes of Nook Logan gracing the basepaths at RFK (albeit infrequently), are fine with the shutdown. Is there any sure thing? Of course not. However, can I look at Strasburg’s body of work during his time with the Nats and understand 1) He hasn’t ever been asked to throw the number of innings the DSHD (Don’t Shut Him Down) crew are asking him to throw 2) He is in his first full year following TJ surgery 3) He has shown, through a lack of command, even in his most recent 6 inning, one hit performance, that his arm is becoming fatigued and 4) Even though Strasburg is not a Jordan Zimmerman clone, the differences between Zimmermann last year and this year indicate that it was wise to shut him down. There is no data that indicates it would be unwise to shut Strasburg down in the same manner.
As a Nats fan, I say shut him down. There is nothing to indicate he will regress next year, and some indications that he will progress even beyond where he is now.
They should have held off with him at the begining of the season they would have still cruised with or without him and had him down the stretch when they needed him most. They are thinking about the future they are just to dumb to realize their future is right now. This team loses first round without their ace and without any playoff expierence. And then the real talk of what if’s will occur. In a short series anything can happen
It’s almost a given that they will make the playoffs at this point.. & anyone who believes they would not use him at all in the playoffs, even if they are 1 game from elimination in any round of the playoffs is gullible as well……..He’ll miss his last 2-3 starts and get used in the playoffs as needed….
That is exactly what they have said they will do, Not Use him in the Playoffs Game 7 of the World Series, Won’t Use him. Trust Me, if they are gonna shut him down, shut him down. Would you want Strasburg who wouldn’t have pitched against major league hitting for over a month pitching Game 7 of WS. If they do shut him down, he stays down, its not gonna be a soft thing, its yes or no.