Enjoy Stephen Strasburg During the Regular Season

There is a lot of coverage today about how the Washington Nationals are handling their young ace. A long column by Jayson Stark got things started:

No matter how loudly you scream, no matter how eloquently you argue, no matter how many compelling counterpoints you present, the Washington Nationals aren’t changing their minds. Period. That’s a wrap.

So there is going to come a day, sometime in September, when the Nationals pat their ace on the butt, place his golden right arm in bubble wrap, and say, “Thanks for playing.” It’s as inevitable as the next Kristen Stewart tabloid blockbuster.

Then Rob Neyer and Fangraphs took their turns1. Though Fangraphs focuses on using the innings count to estimate when the Nationals will shut him down, Mr. Neyer is more critical:

It seems like the Nationals have replaced an old paradigm — let pitchers pitch until they get hurt, which has actually been out of style for a while now — with something new that’s nearly as ill-considered as the old one. The only way to keep Strasburg healthy is to bench him after 160 innings and no time off? Really?

Pitching too much can be bad, so limiting the amount of pitching is good, right? I cannot wait to see the reaction when the Nationals refuse to their ace as they are playing a key playoff game. What a media circus that will be.


  1. Fangraphs cites a tweet from Jeff Passan that Strasburg’s inning limit is 180.