Stephen Strasburg

How should the Nats handle him? Play for now, or the future?

I would like a third option of rotating him in every 6 games until the playoffs.

  1. They are winning now, and he hasn’t gone past 7 IP all season.
  2. They have an excellent bullpen - if they need to yank him earlier as the season goes on, they can afford to.
  3. With a second wild card team in the mix, there’s more of a cushion.
  4. The 160 IP limit is still a myth - no one has come out from the Nationals organization and stated it exists. It did for Zimmermann, and it appears to be the case for Strasburg, but nothing has been confirmed.

Personally, I think they need to keep him on a short leash, especially in September, but allow him to pitch in the post-season should they make it.

The Nats have the best record in the NL. If not now, when? If they’ve got an extremely comfortable lead with 10 games remaining, go ahead and sit him down for his last couple starts, maybe. Maybe give him more days of rest between starts, I don’t know, but the end goal is a World Series.

Maybe, maybe not. “Creating a dominant dynasty” is also a very valid end goal. So is “putting as many butts in the seats as possible for as long as possible”. Strasburg’s an amazing pitcher - but he’s not going to single-handedly win them a pennant.

Agreed, keep his innings down as much as possible until the playoffs, then throw the chains off.

Shut him down as planned. Reducing his innings or fiddling with the rotation isn’t going to help much.

Baby him, but keep starting him.

Eh? “We’re not going to do everything we can to win the WS this year so that we can create a long term dynasty.” I do not think this goes over well with fans. Neither does “he wasn’t going to win it single handedly!”

Strasburg is not going to self-destruct after 160 IP. Just keep an eye on him, make sure he feels well and do what you can to win baseball games. Keep his outings short or give him an extra day of rest if appropriate, but I think shutting him down completely is a bad strategy and sends a bad message.

Rizzo said it before the season, and has stuck to his guns. So yeah, it’s been confirmed.

Got any examples to back that up? Hell, the Cubs have all but completely ignored the “dynasty” part, and they sell out every game.

Speaking of the Cubs…

That doesn’t have a quote from Rizzo, and there are plenty of
[quotes out there from him that contradict it]
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/nats-gm-mike-rizzo-says-stephen-strasburg-160-200345159.html). There is more than likely an innings cap - but there is absolutely not any concrete verification of it.

Problem with Strasburg is that his form is so bad that he will be prone to injury for his whole career. If they don’t limit his innings, and then he gets hurt, the GM will be blamed for ruining the career of the next Cy Young. Management will bench him because of the career risk, theirs and not his.

They’d be right to think about Strasburg’s health beyond this year, but even if they do, nothing is guaranteed, much less “a dominant dynasty.” In fact I think Strasburg’s going to get hurt again because of his pitching motion, and sooner or later he’ll lose his effectiveness. But my impulse with him this year would be to keep pitching him and try to keep his innings down without removing him from the rotation or running him out for ludicrous starts of just a couple of innings. I remember how badly the Yankees fucked up their handling of Joba Chamberlain. Basically the Nationals should study what the Yankees did and just do the exact opposite.

The Cubs didn’t move to Chicago 10 years ago. The Nationals are only beginning to have success drawing fans.

I’m not really convinced this 160-inning limit is a good idea to start with. I’d argue they are much better off limiting his pitches on a start-by-start basis, not limiting his innings on a season-wide basis.

If I were a Nats fan and they were letting him throw over 110 pitches at any time before the playoffs, I would be livid.

Game 7 of the world series, that’s different. But they have the chance to build something very special for years to come, and you don’t piss that away chasing one division title.

Flags fly forever, and injury-prone pitchers get injured. As long as we’re not talking abuse, I see no reason not to let him pitch out the season.

Mark Prior (and Kerry Wood, too, for that matter) pitched well over 200 innings in '03 for the Cubs. Strasburg won’t get there, shut down or not. He’s not even averaging 6 IP per start. I think realistically the difference for Strasburg will be shutting down at 160 IP or letting him go to about 175 in the regular season.

And Dusty Baker will forever be remembered by some fans as the manager that “ruined them”.

And if the Cubs had won the WS that year I bet nobody would give a damn.