- 08/31/2012, 04:18PM ET
Mrlns Fn said 09/01, 04:04 AM
They should let him do what he's paid to do - pitch.
I have been fairly off-put by recent remarks from Davey Johnson proclaiming the Nationals' intentions to shut Strasburg down after 2-3 more starts.
The Nationals have been a joke forever. Like for my whole lifetime, if you include the Expos years. They're finally relevant, and Strasburg is their ace. They have a chance at a WS this year, something the franchise hasn't even thought about in decades.
And they want to shut down their ace.
I get the counter argument. I understand the correlation between innings increases and various injuries. I know they've invested a lot in Strasburg and now they want to baby him and make sure they get a long term return off their investment.
But this is MLB. This is pro sports. You're supposed to try to win, dammit. Some players play through injury because they want to win so bad. Some guys would never admit to being hurt for fear of being pulled.
Not saying that mentality is perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than completely puss-ing out and shutting down your ace for fear of possible injury.
You're supposed to try to win now.
Shutting Strasburg down is weak.
williewilliejuan said 09/01, 01:07 PM
The Nationals should sit Strasburg - right now. If the medical people they pay to tell them such things tell them that they need to limit Strasburg's innings because of his recent surgery, they should probably listen. Most reports out of Washington say they will. However, if Strasburg only has a few games left, why waste them in the regular season?
Washington currently holds a 6.5 game lead in the East over the Braves, who aren't playing particularly good baseball right now. There is a little over a month left in the regular season. Even if the Nats only play 0.500 ball for the rest of the season, the Braves have to go 22-8 to pass them up. They haven't shown that they're able to do that.
If the Nats sit Strasburg now, he gets about five and a half weeks between his last start and the start of the playoffs to rest his arm. That rest may allow the Nats to stretch the 2-3 starts he supposedly has left to 4-5, which coincidentally is about what he would need in a deep playoff run. Strasburg looked tired in his last start anyway; he could use some rest.
They should sit Strasburg now so he will be available to them in the playoffs when the games really matter.
Mrlns Fn said 09/02, 12:06 AM
Well the Nats aren't paying any medical people to tell them what to do with Strasburg. All this "don't let a young SP increase his IP by more than 30 from season to season" talk comes from Tom Verducci, a regular Joe who happens to write about baseball for a living.
Verducci is no doctor, and the so-called "Verducci Effect" is by no means an exact science. Heck, a lot of people don't even believe in it. Verducci himself will admit that it's a theory more than anything else and that in recent years the evidence actually detracts from his theory.
Basically the Nats have to decide whether they want to be as competitive as possible (obviously by pitching Strasburg) or if they want to listen to a sports writer's claims that "pitchers 25 and younger should not increase their workload by more than 30 IP from season to season". An unproven theory by a guy with ZERO background in the medical field.
And let's be clear about something here - the Nationals aren't sitting Strasburg for the regular season to bring him back for the postseason. It's not happening.
Bringing Strasburg back in 2012 would basically be putting him through Spring Training in the middle of a pennant run.
williewilliejuan said 09/02, 03:30 PM
Let's start by clarifying a couple of points. First, the proposed shutdown has nothing to do with the "Verducci Effect" other than they both deal with innings limits. The Verducci Effect has to do with limiting the number of innings for young pitchers as they adjust to the length of the MLB schedule. The Nats are going to shut down Strasburg pursuant to a rehabilitation schedule provided by Dr. Yocum following his Tommy John surgery. They followed a similar schedule last year with Zimmerman while he was recovering from the same surgery.
Second, this TD isn't about what is going to happen, since all indications from the Nats are they are going to let Strasburg start a couple more games and then shut him down.
According to Dr. James Andrews, the causes of UCL injuries are poor mechanics and overuse. He goes on to say "And if you overuse with poor mechanics, you're doomed." Most pitching experts say Strasburg's mechanics are flawed and put him at greater risk for injury. They shouldn't compound that with overuse. If they take him out of the rotation, keep him throwing on the side to keep up his strength without getting fatigued, they may be able to use him in the playoffs.
Mrlns Fn said 09/03, 02:43 AM
Whether it's Mike Rizzo, Dr. Yocum or Scott Boras who made the call (although Rizzo has publicly indicated he's receiving instructions from Boras, who is following the advice of Dr. Yocum), the point I was making remains - theories regarding increased IP are merely theories, and there is evidence supporting both sides of the debate.
Regardless, what we have is a Washington Nationals team (which at this point is almost a lock for the postseason) deciding to shut down their ace pitcher for fear of potential injury.
"Make sure he's still healthy for future postseason", is the overall mindset in Washington. This type of rationale is fundamentally flawed in a business like MLB where the goal is to try to win championships.
There is no guarantee that the Nats will ever find themselves in this position again. Remember, this franchise hasn't even participated in the postseason since 1981.
It's presumptous and foolish of the Nats to assume they're going to make future postseasons.
The Nats have a horrible track record and regardless of how excited they are about the future, they have a chance to win RIGHT NOW and sitting Strasburg hurts that chance.
williewilliejuan said 09/03, 01:36 PM
I like that you chose this term to end your argument. My argument is all about priorities.
Strasburg is a phenomenal young talent coming off TJ surgery. His doctors have said that the most critical time after this surgery is the first two years when the UCL is at its weakest. They have further said that the Nats need to limit his work during this period to reduce the risk of re-injury because the success rate of second TJ surgeries is not great. The Nats should prioritize the times they use him for the rest of the season.
Strasburg is like a car that has gotten a flat and is driving around on that little donut tire. He isn't going to be able to change that tire until tomorrow, but has a very important appointment later in the day. The smart thing to do is put off everything until he has to go to that appointment because he knows that stupid little tire can go at any time. You are suggesting that he drive all over town in the meantime, even if it means he never gets to his important appointment or causes further damage.
The priority for the Nats is the playoffs. They should rest him/limit his work so he will be available to play when it's most important.
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