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Stephen Strasburg to make two or three more starts

Aug 30, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg Reuters

Nationals manager Davey Johnson broke the news to Stephen Strasburg on the plane ride home Monday: the 24-year-old right-hander will “probably” make just two or three more starts this season.

Johnson says he has a “pretty firm plan” for Strasburg, but it’s based on how many innings the right-hander pitches in his next starts. Strasburg is currently at 150 1/3 innings. Speculation all year is that he’d be shut down once he reached 160 innings.

Strasburg is slated to make his next start at home against the Cardinals on Sunday. His final outing will probably come at home against the Marlins on Sept. 7 or on the road in New York on Sept. 12.

The Nationals will likely plug John Lannan into Strasburg’s rotation spot. Assuming that they hold on to win the NL East, they could use a rotation with a top three of Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson in October. Ross Detwiler would be favored over Lannan for the fourth spot.

  1. mrfloydpink - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    What does Rob Dibble think about all this?

  2. canucks18 - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Good luck with this Washington… As soon as the Postseason rolls around Strasburg will be right at the center of the discussion

  3. keithbangedyermom - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    This plan is bound to backfire. Have fun with tha Natsies.

  4. madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Oh good! It’s time for another episode of Commentariat Theatre!

    In today’s episode, commenters who have barely seen the Nationals play this season will tell the rest of us that shutting down Strasburg is a bad idea!

    For those of you just tuning in, you’ve missed the part where Nationals fans are OK with the move. It’s non-Nationals fans and the media who seem more pissed off/angry/upset/dismayed by this than anyone else.

    • natslady - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Yeah, but tell me it’s not better than today’s episode of yaya yaha yada Red Sox….

      • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        Was there Red Sox news today? ;)

      • soxski - Sep 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        Us RedSox fans are with you 100%. The Boston media has caused or at a minimum inflated the majority of the teams issues this season. They are the most negative SOBs in the reporting world. Edes can choak and die on his inflammatory comments. Think about. If you wake up every morning and your boss or coworkers publish something neg. about you daily it would impact you in every aspect. Henry should ban the media and protect his milti billion dollar investment. The players should only make sugary statements. Give the vultures nothing.

    • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      Glad you opened the show with your schtick.

      I am not a Nats fan but I watch several of their games. I root for the Braves – ask them how easy it is to win a WS crown. I would be pissed if the Braves were shutting down Hudson (sorry not on the same level as Stras, but I gotta work with what we got) for the year right before the playoffs.

      And not all DC fans are happy with the move. I am friends with a few that have been fans since they came to DC years ago (not the bandwagon jumping, don’t know shit about baseball variety of fans either) that are FAR from OK with the move.

      • natslady - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        I think “happy” is the wrong word. No one is happy about it. More like “understand” it and are prepared for it.

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM

        What’s their to understand? That Rizzo is chickenshit? Look, I ‘understand’ why he is doing it to, but I also ‘understand’ he is wrong.

        If Stras is going to breakdown, he is going to breakdown. Some players are just prone to it – ask Eric Davis. But there is no proven science anywhere that says by shutting him down, you stave off injury. It’s a gamble that Rizzo is willing to take and he is betting your title hopes against it.

        Don’t get me wrong, I hope they shut him down. I would much rather face Lannan the next time we meet. I just think its a bad choice.

      • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:13 PM

        But there is no proven science anywhere that says by shutting him down, you stave off injury.

        This is a fair point. Also a fair point? They took this exact same approach with Jordan Zimmerman, who is in many ways a better pitcher than Strasburg is this season. There’s absolutely no reason to deviate from a plan that has already worked.

        It’s a gamble that Rizzo is willing to take and he is betting your title hopes against it.

        Oh no! Not my title hopes! I demand a refund!

        Seriously, do you think these decisions are made on a whim? Do you not recognize that management is taking a huge chance here, not just for this season, but also for the fans to possibly not come back if they don’t win it all?

        Jesus H. Christ. For the first time in a VERY long time, we see a story of a billion dollar company actually taking steps to protect the individual, instead of throwing him back out there to generate short-term cash, and we’re actively rallying AGAINST this? I’m as liberal as the next guy, but even I have to agree with the decision to protect his future.

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 31, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        “There’s absolutely no reason to deviate from a plan that has already worked”

        Except, you know, that thing called a title. Oh that’s right – you fans in DC seem to think that you already have a dynasty.

        Good luck with that!

    • keithbangedyermom - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      I’ve watched all the teams. We’ll see how cool you guys are when you lose in the NLDS. Oh, that’s right I forgot…you guys are a lock for the postseason the next ten years.

  5. vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    What is the whole objective to playing baseball? Winning the World Series or building up personal stats? Let’s say the Nationals make the playoffs and maybe the World Series but loose & this is the only team that goes to the post season in Strasburgs entire career? Like Chipper Jones said he has been on 14 playoff teams and only has 1 World Series win & he cant phathom sitting Strasburg. So what would you do? Demand to pitch in the post season! This makes no sense and here in the DMV area people are outraged about sitting their ace. I don’t know what madhatternalice is talking about because people here think that’s stupid, especially considering the NATS may never sniff the playoffs again. There is no guarantee just look at the Pirates of the early 90′s who played in 2 straight NLCS’ and haven’t been back to the post season since.
    You make the playoffs, you have to start Strasburg.

    • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      “Winning the World Series or building up personal stats?”

      Who said this was a discussion or decision about stats? It’s about preserving his career. It’s about not turning him into another Kerry Wood. And, ultimately, like it or not, it’s about protecting the investment. It has nothing to do with “personal stats.” What does that even mean?

      This makes no sense and here in the DMV area people are outraged about sitting their ace.

      Let’s see your facts. I’ll show you mine:

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/26/twtjz-analytics-poll-shut-stephen-strasburg-down/

      http://www.wtop.com/490/3009447/Talkback-Should-Strasburg-be-shut-down

      http://www.wnff.net/index.php?topic=27488.25

      Each of those links will show you that Nats fans, and non-cranky Americans everywhere, want Strasburg shut down.

      So…where’s your data?

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

        My data’s right here:

        [insert photo of someone flipping you off]

        Since your data contradicts my opinion, I choose to ignore it.

        Actually wait…Strasburg is starting against the Cardinals on Sunday? Fuck that, shut him down now!

      • vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:46 PM

        Typical DC dipshit

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        “Each of those links will show you that Nats fans, and non-cranky Americans everywhere, want Strasburg shut down.”

        So that’s what you’re going with? An unscientific poll that doesn’t even begin to take the entire demographic of real DC baseball fans? Ha. OK…

        I guess I have lost this argument.

    • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Never mind that you don’t seem to grasp the fact that shutting him down, and then starting him up again would be more harmful than just letting him pitch. But no, please, tell us more!

      • vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:53 PM

        No one wants to see yours. Who the f cares what some fat slob sports talk show host thinks or what some sports writer pussy from the washington times says.

        The fans here in DC think Rizzo is a fat stupid naysayer & so does Davey Johnson!

      • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM

        The fans here in DC

        Great Caesar’s Ghost, don’t tell me your fat Michigan ass is actually in DC! And here I was, preparing a response to your whole “DC Dipshit” comment.

        Hey, lard-o! No one invited you. If you can’t respond to an intelligent conversation, go play in the sandbox.

        Wow…I’ve already given you more time than you’re worth.

      • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

        @FatVikesFanSteve, Next time, at least have the grace to read a link before incorrectly commenting on it. The links show the results of polls. You know, what fans think. The very thing you claim to incorrectly know.

        Oh wait, right. Intelligent discouse = above your head. Forgot about that. Go back to that sandbox now, Stevie.

      • vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        Michigan? Stevie?

        Go back to Dupont and putting polls in your sandbox alice.

      • madhatternalice - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM

        Sure thing, Fat Stevie. Oh, we’re gonna have some fun on these here boards, you and I.

  6. babyjesus69 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    It’s a joke that he won’t pitch in playoffs for a chance at a ring and instead choose to secure his investment… I mean arm

    • jhorton83 - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      You think he’s making this choice? This is Mike Rizzo’s call all the way.

      • keithbangedyermom - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM

        Riiiiiiiiiight. Sure it is. Boras has nothing to do with it either.

  7. Tim OShenko - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Here’s a scenario that I wonder whether those in the “Strasburg should pitch” camp have considered:

    Let’s say the Nats make the playoffs, and they do put Strasburg back in the rotation. Yet the Nats wind up losing anyhow. In addition, Strasburg suffers another arm injury. What would you have to say then? Would it be worth it?

    It’s true you can’t predict the future, and that this may be the Nationals’ best chance at a ring for many years to come. It’s also true that we don’t know for certain whether or not Strasburg’s arm will fall off if he pitches 180 innings instead of 160. But we do know two things: 1) This is Strasburg’s 1st full season back from TJ surgery, and 2) the Nats have lots of talent locked under team control for the next few years. Given these two facts, I can forgive Nats management for taking the long view.

    • vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      That’s the same as he sits and blows out his arm in spring training. Pitch 1 start in the NLDS and if they make the NLCS 1 and if they make the WS 1 as an inspirational Willis Reed type move. Or do. Nothing and play the what if game forever. What if he gets hit by car or falls down his stairs or sprains his knee giving a shaving cream pie to Harper after a big win. Strike while the iron is hot man, roll the dice. When fate calls answer the phone. Etc.

      • keithbangedyermom - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        Exactly. Rizzo is playing the fool. No one can predict whether or not a pitcher will sustain an injury. On the Nats fans acceptance of the shut down, I know two Nats fans and neither are happy about it at all – or even remotely accepting of it.

        Rizzo is trying to be too cerebral here. There is no magic formula that tells you how many innings a pitcher can safely throw without injuring themselves.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Compromise time:

      Just have Strasburg pitch left handed from here on out.

      • madhatternalice - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

        Well done!

  8. rockthered1286 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    So I’m an admitted O’s fan (as some know) but I travel between the Baltimore/DC/NoVa area for work fairly often. I’m a homer, but I still listen to sc sports talk when I’m in range and I gotta say: fans aren’t happy as a whole. Not saying all are pissed but majority who called in as well as one or 2 hosts. I know this wasn’t all on Rizzo and Boras had plenty to do with it as well, but its obvious to me that once shut down he cannot pitch again this season or it’s a breach of contract. So to anyone expecting a spot start? Won’t happen.

  9. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Dumbasses.

  10. kvanhorn87 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    When you have a chance to win, you go for it at ALL costs. When the Phillies won the world series a few years ago, they were up and coming. The window shuts real fast in the majors. I would have no regrets if they push him and the arm
    Blows. If they never win a championship, all you will have is what ifs. I would rather fail than not even try.

    • vikesfansteve - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      Yep

  11. pg99bassist - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Just some food for thought: Lannan just pitched his second straight complete game shutout in AAA Syracuse. I, a DC Native, have no problem with shutting him down. I blew my elbow out in college and put a long career of a phenom on my team above the risk of still throwing him without a guarantee of a world series victory.

  12. echech88 - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Imagine if Gio gets shelled in game 1…

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