Stephen Strasburg is almost there. And not in a good way. At the beginning of the season manager, Mike Rizzo, revealed the team’s plans to limit Strasburg’s season pitch count to 160 innings. Right now Strasburg has pitched a total of 127.1 innings. Would the Nationals really stop Strasburg from pitching after a 160 innings?
They’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.
On one hand, the Nationals are winning the NL east. Strasburg is the ace of a team with a great pitching rotation that includes Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman. Strasburg has a 2.97 ERA and a 12-5 record in the 22 games he’s started this season. When the season began I don’t believe the Nationals thought that they would be doing this well. However, the possibility of the playoffs are in the cards for Washington and if they limit their ace to 160 innings he’s not going to be able to pitch for them in the postseason.
On the other hand, Stephen Strasburg is two seasons removed from Ulnar Collateral Ligament reconstruction, known as Tommy John surgery to us normal people. If Strasburg goes out and pitches beyond his 160 inning count, he begins to put his surgically repaired arm in danger. There is a possibility that Stephen’s career is at stake. Nobody wants to lose a player that could be one of the cornerstones of that organization for years to come.
I don’t think the Nationals will stick to the count. They can’t
What Washington might do is start to space Stephen’s start out some more but, there’s no way a team enters the post season without it’s ace. The further into playoffs Washington can go the bigger disadvantage that not having Strasburg will mean.
Would you push Strasburg in the short term or preserve him in the long term? Comment below and give me your opinion.