Skip to content

Leo Mazzone calls Strasburg shutdown “pathetic,” forgets what happened to Steve Avery

Aug 16, 2012, 2:02 PM EST

leo mazzone braves phone

I’ve mentioned several times that I don’t like the impending Stephen Strasburg shutdown. I think that the Nationals, especially after they realized they had a playoff contender on their hands, needed to manage his workload in such a way that he could pitch into the postseason.

That said, one cannot be blind to pitcher injuries and workload in making the pitch Strasburg case. And one guy who appears to be really, really blind to it is former Braves and Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone.

Mazzone was on the radio in San Francisco yesterday, and he told a story about how back in the Braves glory years, his young pitchers used to carry a big load.  Like Steve Avery for instance:

Let me tell you something we had pitchers when they were young in 1991 okay…Steve Avery and John Smoltz and Pete Smith and Tom Glavine were all kids. They took us to the 7th game of the World Series and they all had great careers ... I remember in 1993 when we trying to catch the Giants and we were out in San Francisco and we were 7 and half games out or 8…whatever it was in late July. We are trying to catch him and Steve Avery who was 22 years old at the time already was an MVP of the NLCS and said, ‘Leo we got them now.’ I said, ‘Oh I am glad you said we got them now. Last I looked we were about 7 or 8 out.’  He said, ‘No. John Burkett and Bill Swift are talking about how they pitched 150 innings and they might be getting a little tired. We don’t get going until we got to 150.’ ”

Steve Avery pitched 223 innings that year, which was his age 23 season. The year before he pitched 233. When he was 21 he pitched 210. In the minors and majors in the two years before that he pitched 170 or so each season. On top of that, as Mazzone noted, he pitched a lot in the postseason: 29 innings in 1991, 20 innings in 1992 and 13 in 1993.

And at the end of that 1993 season he got injured and was never truly healthy or durable again.

I don’t think Strasburg is on the Steve Avery path. The Nationals have been careful with him and, even if you disagree with the strategy they’re employing now, they are trying to continue to be careful with him.  But man, if you’re going to go after what they’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be bringing up Steve freakin’ Avery as your go-to example.

Latest Posts
  1. There was a fire at Camden Yards

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:33 PM EST

    Kelly Johnson, Devin Mesoraco, Mike Estabrook AP

    A ticket booth on the first floor of the warehouse at Camden Yards caught fire on Sunday night.

  2. Clint Barmes is a Padres hipster

    Feb 1, 2015, 8:25 PM EST

    Clint Barmes Clint Barmes

    The Padres began their overhaul shortly after signing Clint Barmes to a one-year deal. He wasn’t quite expecting to be on a team expected to seriously contend with the Dodgers in the NL West.

  3. Jeff Samardzija would consider an extension with the White Sox

    Feb 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Jeff Samardzija Jeff Samardzija

    Jeff Samardzija wants to see “how it is” with the White Sox for half a season, but might consider a contract extension before the 2015 season is over.

  4. David Ortiz and Robinson Cano give their Super Bowl XLIX predictions

    Feb 1, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Brad Miller, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz AP

    Check out what David Ortiz and Robinson Cano think will happen in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night.

  5. Reds sign Paul Maholm to minor league deal

    Feb 1, 2015, 5:20 PM EST

    paul maholm getty Getty Images

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Reds have agreed to a contract with 32-year-old left-hander Paul Maholm.

  6. Braves hold private workout for Hector Olivera

    Feb 1, 2015, 4:11 PM EST

    hector olivera getty Getty Images

    Badler writes that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and assistant GM John Coppolella were both in attendance, along with a number of special assistants and the organization’s top two scouts.

  7. Zack Greinke hasn’t made decision about opt-out

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:37 PM EST

    zack greinke getty Getty Images

    Zack Greinke is allowed to opt out of his six-year, $146 million contract with the Dodgers after the 2015 season. In doing that, the right-hander would be leaving three years and $77 million on the table but …

  8. Matt Harrison experiences minor setback in rehabilitation from spinal fusion surgery

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:13 PM EST

    matt harrison rangers getty Getty Images

    Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Harrison has put off moving his throwing program from 90 feet to out 105 feet because he is experiencing tightness in his right hip.

  9. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson plans to spend another spring in Rangers camp

    Feb 1, 2015, 11:58 AM EST

    russell wilson getty Getty Images

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes in his weekly Sunday notes column that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — who’s getting set to take on the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX tonight on NBC — is planning to spend some time in camp this spring with the Texas Rangers.

  10. Andruw Jones aiming to return to Major League Baseball

    Feb 1, 2015, 10:32 AM EST

    andruw jones nl getty Getty Images

    The 37-year-old will likely have to settle for a minor league contract. He’d then have to earn a roster spot.

  11. Video: Ernie Banks’ memorial service

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:05 AM EST

    ernie banks

    Here is some great video from Ernie Banks’ memorial service Saturday in Chicago …

  12. Wives of Jim Edmonds and Josh Hamilton to appear on The Real Housewives of Orange County

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:25 PM EST

    Los Angels Angels newly acquired outfielder Hamilton talks with reporters as his wife, Katie, looks on during a news conference in Anaheim Reuters

    Meghan King Edmonds and Katie Chadwick Hamilton, the wives of Jim and Josh respectively, will appear on the tenth season of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

  13. Red Sox plan to use Brandon Workman out of the bullpen

    Jan 31, 2015, 10:40 PM EST

    Brandon Workman Brandon Workman

    Brandon Workman will enter spring training as a reliever, attempting to grab a scarce spot at the back of the Red Sox bullpen.

  14. A.J. Preller still in touch with the Phillies about Cole Hamels

    Jan 31, 2015, 9:50 PM EST

    Cole Hamels Cole Hamels

    The Padres are still interested in Phillies ace Cole Hamels, though they may not be able to put together an enticing enough deal to attain him.

  15. Freddie Freeman: “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

    Jan 31, 2015, 9:00 PM EST

    Freddie Freeman Freddie Freeman

    The Braves may have pawned off many of their productive players, but Freddie Freeman still thinks they’ll compete in 2015.

  16. Someone apparently got Jayson Werth’s autograph in jail

    Jan 31, 2015, 8:10 PM EST

    Washington Nationals v New York Mets Getty Images

    Jayson Werth signed an inmate handbook for someone during his stay in jail in Fairfax, Virginia.

  17. Remembering Mr. Cub

    Jan 31, 2015, 7:10 PM EST

    Ernie Banks Ernie Banks

    Ernie Banks, who played 19 seasons in the major leagues, made an enormous impact on the game of baseball. That has been evident in the wonderful stories that have been shared over the last week.

  18. Rays sign Ronald Belisario to a minor league deal

    Jan 31, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Ronald Belisario AP

    The Rays added some depth, signing reliever Ronald Belisario on Saturday. It appears they’ll be adding infielder Alexi Casilla as well.

  19. Cubs sign Mike Baxter

    Jan 31, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

    Mike Baxter AP AP

    Baxter appeared in four games with the Dodgers last season and owns a .225/.331/.342 batting line in the majors. He’ll always be aces with Mets fans, though.

  20. Angels and Garrett Richards avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:39 PM EST

    Garrett Richards AP

    Richards emerged as one of the best pitchers in the American League last season before tearing his left patellar tendon in August.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Richards (3134)
  2. T. Snider (3005)
  3. D. Mesoraco (2854)
  4. N. Cotts (2651)
  5. J. Werth (2600)