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Nationals rookie Taylor Jordan reaches innings limit

Aug 19, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

It’ll get slightly less attention than shutting down Stephen Strasburg last season, but the Nationals have shut down rookie Taylor Jordan after he reached 142 total innings between the majors and minors.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the initial plan called for Jordan to make a couple more starts, but his recent back problems convinced the Nationals to just shut him down now. Jordan underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in 2011 and logged just 54 total innings last season.

Despite missing the final six weeks Jordan had a heckuva season, advancing all the way from Single-A to the big leagues by posting an incredible 1.00 ERA in the minors. And then he more than held his own as a 24-year-old rookie, throwing 52 innings with a 3.69 ERA and 29/11 K/BB ratio for the Nationals.

  1. jm91rs - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I don’t think the Strasburg shut down is being given nearly enough attention this year. Last year there was a pretty equal split of supporters but its clear that nationals management was thinking the team they built could run away with the east for a few more years. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s obvious that was a bad idea. It shouldnt take hindsight to see that it’s not smart to take anything for granted in baseball.? If the Nats don’t make the playoffs in the next few years, what were they saving strasburg’s arm for? The Yankees or dodgers are likely his next destination, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, but if I were a nationals fan Id be screaming at the gm. And if they blew their one opportunity at a World Series I hope Mike Rizzo publicly admits his failure.

    • voteforno6 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      So, if your employer chose to sacrifice your long-term prospects for a shot at immediate success, would you be okay with that?

      • blacksables - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        If I was getting paid what Strasburg is getting paid, then I’d be fine with it.

        He’s already made more money than the average American ever will.

        He sold his right arm to be rich. Whatever the owner of the arm does with it is up to the owner, and not Srasburg.

      • cshearing - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        It’s not about the player personally being okay with it, it is about the fans being okay with it. I was utterly flabbergasted last year when it seemed like most Nays fans supported the decision. If it was my team, I would want the GM fired.

        He sat a key player that was not injured in the most important games of the season. I don’t think people appreciate how unique this was. I cannot remember a single other instance in sports.

        You always do whatever you can for a championship. Otherwise, it is just about the journey and not the goal.

        That being said – if I recall correctly – Strasburg was not okay with it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        Contrary to your opinion, Strasburg isn’t an indentured servant.

      • blacksables - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        indentured servant: a person who is bonded or contracted to work for another for a specified time

        There are several different varieties of indentured servitude, but they all start with this basic premise.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Indentured servitude has a debt aspect to it. It’s not really comparable at all. And besides the indentured servant can’t get out of the contract and isn’t paid in wages. Strasburg is being paid and can quit whenever he wants.

      • blacksables - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        You’re incorrect about the wage issue, as indentured servants could be paid wages, just as slaves were sometimes allowed to work for wages and keep what they earned.

        As to the debt issue, you’re correct in that he doesn’t owe any money to the team. What he does owe in lieu of debt is the ability to play major league baseball at the highest level. No major league contract, no major league salary.

        As to quitting, he does have the right to do that. He also has the right to forfeit all future money and not be able to play major league baseball, except in an outlaw independent league.

        Splitting hairs, or making it a matter of semantics, doesn’t take away the basic premise: a person who is bonded or contracted to work for another for a specified time

      • jm91rs - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        Different scenario here. If my employer has me under contract he can sacrifice my long term prospects all he wants. That’s his right. Of course in my line of work that would somehow lead to me dying, so I wouldn’t be happy. A once in a lifetime run at the World Series is that important when it’s your job to run a baseball team. But thankfully for Strasburg and Boras, they saved him and the next team will really enjoy that.

    • Todd Boss - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      God enough from the uninformed Strasburg shutdown commenters! You never mention any of these specific items when criticizing the Nationals organization:

      1. Strasburg was rehabbing from a significant injury. A career ending injury for many.
      2. The Nats shut him down with cooperation and approval of the innings limit from the doctor who did the surgery. You know, the damn surgeon who cut him open? If my doctor advised me to only throw 160 innings next year, I’d probably listen to him.
      3. He was clearly showing signs of wearing down leading up to the shutdown anyway. Wearing down in a way that was completely consistent with a guy coming back from injury.
      4. You say there’s no proof that shutting down a guy will prevent injury in the future, and that’s absolutely true. But the reverse is also true; you just don’t know if pushing a guy a year after surgery will shorten his career or have no difference. So the Nats chose the conservative, player-health first route. Bravo to them.
      5. Nobody EVER whines about other teams shutting down their stars, often with no evidence of injury. Jeff Samardzija, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey. Why is a team’s position in the standing relevant to the long term health concerns of a rising ace pitcher??

      You think players are looking at the Nats organization with contempt in this case? I think the absolute reverse is the case; they see a team that does NOT push short term goals at the expense of long term health. If only other teams did that as well.

      The shutdown is always portrayed as an arrogant GM who just thinks the Nats will win 100 games for the next dozen years. Stop it! It isn’t the case.

      And I won’t even mention these two inconvenient facts:
      1. The only quality start the entire Nats rotation gave the team last October was by the guy who REPLACED Strasburg in the rotation.
      2. The team lost because its closer couldn’t hold a 2-run lead against the bottom of the order in the 9th inning, at home. Not sure how Strasburg helps here.

      • jm91rs - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        You’re right, Nats fans should not be upset that the Ace of the staff was shut down in the middle of the best run they’ve had in Washington. They’ll make the playoffs every other year anyway. That window never closes. /s

        All of your examples about people shutting down their stars are different scenarios. You’re talking about guys on teams fighting for last place in their divisions versus a team that appeared destine to represent the NL in the World Series. Team record is absolutely is a factor if you believe (as I do, as a lot of people do) that your team might have a shot at doing something special.

  2. natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Thanks to Taylor Jordan for filling a gap in the Nats’ rotation, and doing it unexpectedly well.

    • natslady - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      He did good. Tough kid, had a lot of bad luck, errors, no run support. He stuck. Hope he develops that cutter in the off-season and see you in the spring!

  3. sfm073 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Sacrifice? They didn’t allow him to do what he’s paid to do, and that’s pitch every 5 days. Pitching him on short rest or having him throw 150 pitches every game is sacrificing his career.

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