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Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

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Shut him down - protect him for the future
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Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Old 08-15-12, 09:57 AM
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Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

It sounds like this story is finally starting to make the national media.

If you're the Nationals, do you protect your investment to make sure you've got an ace for the next ten years? Or do you risk him becoming the next Mark Prior/Kerry Wood for a championship this year?
Old 08-15-12, 10:03 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Nobody will care around here in about 3 weeks when football season starts, even with a shitty football team.
Old 08-15-12, 10:10 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Nobody will care around here in about 3 weeks when football season starts, even with a shitty football team.
That's unfortunate. The Nats are awesome.

I say shut him down. They know how to handle their pitcher better than I do.
Old 08-15-12, 10:24 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

The Nats expected to be good this year (even before the season Davey Johnson said they could fire him if he didn't lead his team to the playoffs), but not best-record-in-baseball good. 2013 was the year they expected to be a WS contender.

One one hand, the Nationals have some great pitchers. As good as Strasburg has been, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimermann have probably been even better. Detweiler had been a solid lefty, too. In the postseason, they only need four pitchers anyway. I think the Nats can still compete without Strasburg.

On the other hand, I don't think you can count on being good for a while. The Atlanta Braves have been a solid team for almost twenty years and they've got one WS title.

I don't envy Mike Rizzo at all. There's really only two ways he won't get second guessed:
1) They shut down Strasburg and make it to the World Series without him.
2) They don't stut Strasburg down and he's a dominant pitcher for the next 10+ years.
Old 08-15-12, 10:29 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Enough w/ the pussification.
Old 08-15-12, 10:47 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

I do not envy the decision maker at all, but I voted to keep on keeping on. To be sure, the decision will be more nuanced than shut him down vs keep pitching. I see him getting skipped on starts through September, but not shut down. If he isn't in the playoff rotation, they are morans.
Old 08-15-12, 10:55 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Jayson Stark talked about this on Baseball Tonight, and he said alot executives are wondering why they just didn't start skipping starts for him from the All-Star until October. If you skip 7-8 starts, he will get more rest between starts, and if they do make it to the World Series, he will get probably 5-6 starts in the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series.
Old 08-15-12, 11:01 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Couldn't they just shut him down for the regular season and start him back up in the playoffs?

The whole point of playing baseball is to win the World Series. Why did they even bother letting him pitch at all if they're going to not let him pitch in the playoffs/World Series?

Or only let him pitch say 4 innings per start just to keep him game ready. I'm sure it would be tough to not pitch at all for a month or whatever and then suddenly be expected to dominate playoff offenses.
Old 08-15-12, 11:09 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

From what I understand, even if you skip his starts or shut him down and start him back up, he still needs to throw on the side. Throwing in the bullpen can cause just as much wear-and-tear on a recently reconstructed elbow as throwing in a game.
Old 08-15-12, 11:12 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by mcnabb View Post
Jayson Stark talked about this on Baseball Tonight, and he said alot executives are wondering why they just didn't start skipping starts for him from the All-Star until October. If you skip 7-8 starts, he will get more rest between starts, and if they do make it to the World Series, he will get probably 5-6 starts in the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series.
That's an idea but I think they wanted to keep him on a regular schedule for his innings. What they should have done, in hindsight, is have him start the season on the DL and give him his first start in June. They could have easily spun it that he just wasn't ready to come back from his injury.
Old 08-15-12, 11:17 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
That's an idea but I think they wanted to keep him on a regular schedule for his innings. What they should have done, in hindsight, is have him start the season on the DL and give him his first start in June. They could have easily spun it that he just wasn't ready to come back from his injury.
He came back in September 2011 and looked pretty good.

5 games, 24 K, 2 BB, .71 WHIP, 1.5 ERA.

If they put him on the DL to start 2012 and spun it that he was injured, they'd probably have to make up another injury.
Old 08-15-12, 11:19 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

^Ahh. Didn't remember that.
Old 08-15-12, 11:35 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Also, at the beginning of the year, the Nationals expectation was most likely a wild card team.

In April & May of 2012, Strasburg had 10 starts (58 innings). Stephen was 5-1 over those 10 starts, but the Nationals were 8-2 in those games. If he got shut down until June and instead of going 8-2 over those 10 games, the Nationals went 3-7 or worse ... then they're chasing the Braves right now.

Saving someone for the playoffs doesn't make sense if that keeps you from making the playoffs. Maybe last year a wild card didn't matter, but now, a division title is so much more important than just making the playoffs.

And in April, did anybody think that the Braves would be their only competition? Did anybody expect the Phillies to be this bad?
Old 08-15-12, 11:39 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
That's an idea but I think they wanted to keep him on a regular schedule for his innings.
I agree with this, but by July the Nationals had to know that they were going to be competing for a playoff spot down the stretch, so that is when they should have started changing his whole routine.

The more I think about it, if you start Strasburg in Game 4 of each series (barring they don't sweep the LDS), you only really need him for one start per series, and then you would also have him for a possible Game 7 of the World Series if need be.

The bottom line is if his limit is 180 innings, then they should have done the math and figured out how he could pitch 160 innings skipping a 2-3 starts per month starting after the All-Star Break. That would leave 3 starts for the Playoffs, and they wouldn't have to worry about possibly ruining his arm. (Or so goes the theory.)
Old 08-15-12, 11:57 AM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Has there been any discussion about turning him into a reliever down the stretch or for the postseason. Obviously, he has more value as a starter. But he would also have more value pitching as a reliever than being shut down entirely.
Old 08-15-12, 12:09 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
Did anybody expect the Phillies to be this bad?
If I offered a bet that the Mets would have a better record than the Phils after 116 games, I could have made a lot of money!
Old 08-15-12, 12:50 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

I say shut him down once it's a lock that they will make the postseason and then let him pitch once the playoffs start. This could very well be their year and it would be such a horrible opportunity to potentially squander
Old 08-15-12, 01:23 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

The Nats are already starting to backtrack on the limits. When the season started and they had little hope of being in the playoffs, it was a firm 160 innings. Now it's been upped to 180 innings and it will be a mess if they lose a close playoff series with Strasburg sitting out. They pretty much have to pitch him at this point. I assume he'll be on a very strict schedule by the playoffs with a maximum of five or six innings per start.
Old 08-15-12, 01:51 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by gotrice487 View Post
I say shut him down once it's a lock that they will make the postseason and then let him pitch once the playoffs start. This could very well be their year and it would be such a horrible opportunity to potentially squander
Where will he get his rehab starts in September? Minors are done at that point unless you just plan on throwing him out there cold at the start of the playoffs?
Old 08-15-12, 03:38 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

There are no guarantees you will have this good of a shot at a world series in the next 10 years. Plus any number of other things could happen to the guy before then anyways. Pitch him and try to win it all.
Old 08-15-12, 04:57 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
It sounds like this story is finally starting to make the national media.

If you're the Nationals, do you protect your investment to make sure you've got an ace for the next ten years? Or do you risk him becoming the next Mark Prior/Kerry Wood for a championship this year?
I've been hearing about limiting his innings pitched, etc. on the Chicago ESPN radio outlet and ESPN itself since before the All-Star break so not sure what you mean by just now making the national media
Old 08-15-12, 07:41 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by Maxflier View Post
There are no guarantees you will have this good of a shot at a world series in the next 10 years. Plus any number of other things could happen to the guy before then anyways. Pitch him and try to win it all.
Old 08-15-12, 07:55 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Did Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson have an inning limit?
Old 08-15-12, 08:01 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Yes, he should follow the example of Sandy Koufax to have a similarly long pitching career.
Old 08-15-12, 08:16 PM
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Re: Steven Strasburg's Innings Limit

Originally Posted by dvd-4-life View Post
Did Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson have an inning limit?
Good examples. Neither of those guys pitched 180+ innings until multiple years in the league. 3rd year for Gibson, 7th for Koufax. Both guys were 25 when they crossed that mark. Strasburg is 23 and likely won't have a limit next year and if he does it will be 200 innings. Also, neither Koufax or Gibson had Tommy John surgery.

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