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[BASEBALL] How would you handle Stephen Strasburg's Innings?

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by dharocks, Aug 16, 2012.

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What would you do with Stephen Strasburg when he reaches 180 innings pitched?

  1. Shut him down; it's not worth risking his future

    16.7%
  2. Let him pitch; you only get so many chances to win a World Series

    44.4%
  3. Let him pitch on a limited pitch count

    27.8%
  4. Move him to the pen for the postseason

    11.1%
  1. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    So for those not aware, Nats starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 2.91 ERA) has thrown 139 1/3 innings thus far this season. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2010, as part of his recovery plan and on the recommendation of his doctor, the Nationals plan to shut him down when he reaches 180 inning pitched. In addition to recovering from surgery, Strasburg turned 24 just last month.

    Meanwhile, the Nats are in the middle of a pennant chase, with the most wins in the majors and a 4.5 game lead in the division. They will likely make the postseason this season for this first time in 30+ years, dating back to when they were the Expos. When they do make their run in the October, barring a new development they won't be doing it with Stephen Strasburg on the mound.

    And personally, I think it's the right call.

    This team's future is built around Strasburg and Harper. They gave him the largest signing bonus in MLB draft history, he's less than two years removed from reconstructive elbow surgery, and is one of the best pitching prospects ever. Furthermore, a postseason rotation of Jordan Zimmermann (2.38 ERA), Gio Gonzalez (3.29 ERA), Ross Detwiler (3.18 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (3.74 ERA) is pretty damn good.

    Lately Leo Mazzone's been going around deriding the Nationals' decision, apparently having forgotten how the Braves destroyed Steve Avery's career in the early 90s. Baseball history is littered with the careers of once promising pitchers who blew out their arms when they were abused by their managers. It would suck to see that happen to Strasburg.
     
  2. Mr Boo

    Mr Boo Contributing Member

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    Haven't voted yet. The option I like is to add a new starting pitcher to your rotation and perhaps skip a start or two for Strasburg. If Strasburg's a fierce competitor (as I assume most professional athletes are), I don't think the playoffs should be taken away for preventative reasons. It's tough to go so far and sit and watch your teammates play.

    Does anyone know what Strasburg's opinion on this matter?
     
  3. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    It really is a tough decision. On one hand, the Nationals are doing the right thing in looking out for the long term for both the organization and the player. A 2nd Tommy John is essentially a career killer. Very few have been able to have successful careers after a 2nd surgery.

    On the other hand, this is a franchise that hasn't been in this position since...I don't know when. They're a contender for the World Series. It doesn't happen every year. There's no sure bet that Strasburg will get hurt again if he goes over and they could be blowing a shot at a title.

    I think they're doing the right thing but there was a way they could have had their cake and ate it, too. Instead him him throwing on a regular schedule, why not skip starts from the beginning of the season. Have him as the 5th starter who gets skipped after days off. They could have had him available with some forward thinking...but I can't blame them for not realizing they'd have the 2nd best record in baseball in August when they've been so horrible for so long.
     
  4. jdh008

    jdh008 Member

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    You let him pitch. Turn him loose. Don't do anything crazy like let him throw 150 pitches in a start, but for goodness sake, let the man pitch. Throwing more innings can sometimes lead to injury, but you'll drive yourself nuts if you go to these lengths to avoid injury. Pitchers get hurt and sometimes it just can't be avoided. He has been babied his entire pro career and he already has had one major surgery. What makes anyone think that won't happen again even with a light load?

    Beyond that, what are they saving him for if they aren't going to pitch him in a pennant race? In theory, they were originally going to limit his innings so that he would still be in tip-top form for the time when the young Nationals would be ready to contend. Well, that time is now. Even though the team is young and they are expected to get better over the next couple of years, there's no guarantee that they will ever get back in this position.
     
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I'm with this 100% You drafted this guy to win...right now you have the best record of all the teams in MLB...you don't know if this opportunity is going to present itself again. You don't shut him down entirely. Limit him some down the stretch, sure. But shutting him down entirely is unprecedented and ridiculous overkill.
     
  6. Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Contributing Member

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    Why not sit him out the rest of the reg season and warm him up right before the playoffs?
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

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    Have him skip every other start for the next 45 days, and pitch him 5 innings for the games he does pitch - that should leave him enough room to pitch in the postseason, which would only be 3-4 games anyway.

    The silly thing about the innings limit is that it's not even a good way to measure usage. 180 crappy innings where you're throwing lots of pitches is very different than 180 great innings where you get quick outs.
     
  8. jdh008

    jdh008 Member

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    Another good point. Using raw innings and pitch counts is, as Peter Keating put it in ESPN magazine, junk science more often than not. It's more about what type of innings and pitches the pitcher is throwing. And even that may or may not be a good predictor of pitcher injuries.
     

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