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View Full Version : Strasburg... sit him or start him until the end?



cincrazy
05-07-2012, 01:51 PM
You're the Nationals. It's late August, you're in first place, 3 up on the Braves, 5 up on the Phillies. You trail St. Louis for the best record in the NL by 1 game. And Stephen Strasburg has just completed 165 innings pitched for the season, with a 12 strikeout performance in 7 innings. What do you do?

RedsManRick
05-07-2012, 02:00 PM
I really don't understand why teams put artificial innings caps on pitchers. It's so lazy. I'm sure there's evidence of the relationship between innings and injuries/effectiveness, but those innings are just a proxy. Why not measure the issue more directly.

Measure his strength and his recovery speed. Look at velocity, command and mechanics. If a guy is at increased risk, surely there are physical signs. For a fraction of what you're paying the guy to pitch you could have a guy on staff solely dedicated to making sure you get the most out of him. Why be so lazy?

cumberlandreds
05-07-2012, 02:09 PM
You pitch him. You may never be in that situation again and it would be foolish not to pitch him in regular turn up until you clinch or are eliminated.

cincrazy
05-07-2012, 02:10 PM
I agree with both of you. From what I've read, however, it appears the Nats are almost certainly going to sit him. If I'm a Nationals fan, that would upset me greatly.

dougdirt
05-07-2012, 02:28 PM
Sit him. He is too important to risk another serious injury. Maybe keep him at 5 innings a start from now until August. If you figure he goes 6.3 in a normal start, and he would get another 15 starts or so between now and then, you get an extra 20 innings out of him. There is not an ideal way to go about it where everyone will be happy about it, but having him there to help you in 2013 is pretty important too.

Caveat Emperor
05-07-2012, 02:37 PM
If you're in contention, pitch him but monitor his workload in games.

kaldaniels
05-07-2012, 03:07 PM
Sit him. He is too important to risk another serious injury. Maybe keep him at 5 innings a start from now until August. If you figure he goes 6.3 in a normal start, and he would get another 15 starts or so between now and then, you get an extra 20 innings out of him. There is not an ideal way to go about it where everyone will be happy about it, but having him there to help you in 2013 is pretty important too.

Where does this number of 165 innings come from?

dougdirt
05-07-2012, 03:11 PM
Where does this number of 165 innings come from?

In 2010 he threw 133 innings. General rule of thumb is to add roughly 30 innings to the previous high work load.

kaldaniels
05-07-2012, 03:13 PM
In 2010 he threw 133 innings. General rule of thumb is to add roughly 30 innings to the previous high work load.

Yeah I figured that is where it came from. But why not 40? Why not 25? It just seems so arbitrary to a degree.

dougdirt
05-07-2012, 03:20 PM
Yeah I figured that is where it came from. But why not 40? Why not 25? It just seems so arbitrary to a degree.

That is just what it is. Don't know why it was decided as the specific amount.

kaldaniels
05-07-2012, 03:23 PM
That is just what it is. Don't know why it was decided as the specific amount.

And that seems weird to me that such a stat based group tends to accept that. Now I will say, if the Nats were in last place I would tend to shut a guy down. But in the midst of a pennant drive I just think you gotta keep a close eye on a guy and let him throw. Each situation would be unique to me.

bucksfan2
05-07-2012, 03:25 PM
I don't understand why a team will put an innings limit on a player and then run him out there every 5th day so he is spent when the season still has a month plus left. If I were the Nats I would obey an innings limit, especially considering the arm issues he had last year. But I would look at sitting him for a month or so during the season or with a "phantom" injury. Or I would begin to skip his start in the rotation every couple of weeks to push his innings limit expiration to later in the season for a playoff push.

jojo
05-07-2012, 03:31 PM
I don't know if I'd sit him but I'd certainly give him a stern talking to.... ;)

757690
05-07-2012, 04:08 PM
I'd ask Wayne Simpson and Gary Nolan what to do ;)

Chip R
05-07-2012, 05:11 PM
If you sit him down, do you bring him back if the Nats make the playoffs?

cumberlandreds
05-08-2012, 08:50 AM
If you sit him down, do you bring him back if the Nats make the playoffs?

They wouldn't have to make that decision. If you sit him down any period of time the Nats can forget about the playoffs.

Slyder
05-08-2012, 10:19 AM
You're the Nationals. It's late August, you're in first place, 3 up on the Braves, 5 up on the Phillies. You trail St. Louis for the best record in the NL by 1 game. And Stephen Strasburg has just completed 165 innings pitched for the season, with a 12 strikeout performance in 7 innings. What do you do?

With the rest of the rotation they have you can afford to rest him. I personally would probably move him to the pen ~140-150 mark. You have to remember he's coming off Tommy John surgery and has a butt load of money tied up in him. If you make the playoffs you consider starting him. You still have Gio Gonzalez, the enigma Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiller, and Jordan Zimmerman (all of whom are under 3.70 ERA right now) you can afford to bid time with him to make sure he doesn't over do it.

Chip R
05-08-2012, 10:23 AM
They wouldn't have to make that decision. If you sit him down any period of time the Nats can forget about the playoffs.

Hypothetically speaking, though. Let's say you shut him down in early September because he's reached his innings limit. And let's say that the Nats make the playoffs even though he's on the shelf. Do you activate him for the playoffs?

If they made that 1 game wild card playoff, it would be awfully tempting to bring him back to pitch that game.

By the way, does anyone know if he's pitching here this weekend?

cumberlandreds
05-08-2012, 10:41 AM
Hypothetically speaking, though. Let's say you shut him down in early September because he's reached his innings limit. And let's say that the Nats make the playoffs even though he's on the shelf. Do you activate him for the playoffs?

If they made that 1 game wild card playoff, it would be awfully tempting to bring him back to pitch that game.

By the way, does anyone know if he's pitching here this weekend?

If you shut him down then you don't bring him back. I would think that would risk even more injury.
Looks like he's scheduled to pitch Thursday in Pittsburgh. Unless that's rained out the Reds will miss him.

RedsManRick
05-08-2012, 01:08 PM
In 2010 he threw 133 innings. General rule of thumb is to add roughly 30 innings to the previous high work load.

In a world where you're paying the guy millions and millions of dollars, why follow a general rule of thumb instead of customizing the approach to the specific player?

TOBTTReds
05-08-2012, 01:20 PM
Appearantly the Nationals have done research on arm stress and innings pitched. They decided their inning number from that. Also, this isn't them babying a young pitcher. He has a chance to be one of the best in the game, and he's coming off of TJ surgery. They'd have a limit on him if he was a #5 pitcher.

But I think you have to limit his innings slowley. Still make sure he is available for the stretch run and playoffs. The best thing that could happen to them right now is a calf strain that he doesn't pitch on at all. Goes to the DL for a month, and comes back healthy for the end of the season.

dougdirt
05-08-2012, 01:28 PM
In a world where you're paying the guy millions and millions of dollars, why follow a general rule of thumb instead of customizing the approach to the specific player?

Just guessing here, but the general rule of thumb has worked fairly well where as a customized approach doesn't have much backing behind it in terms of data to go on.

GoReds
05-08-2012, 02:08 PM
I know there have been many scouts who can look at a pitcher's mechanics and surmise that the pitcher may or may not be a candidate down the road for TJ surgery (inverted W, etc.).

Considering Straburg has had his TJ surgery, has he changed his mechanics in such a way as to mitigate future problems?

dougdirt
05-08-2012, 02:24 PM
I know there have been many scouts who can look at a pitcher's mechanics and surmise that the pitcher may or may not be a candidate down the road for TJ surgery (inverted W, etc.).

Considering Straburg has had his TJ surgery, has he changed his mechanics in such a way as to mitigate future problems?

Not from what I have seen. Still gets some hyperabduction going on.

757690
05-08-2012, 02:26 PM
He's a pitcher who throws 100 MPH. Odds are he's going to get hurt again, no matter how he's handled.

If he's hurting, don't pitch him. Otherwise, just use common sense.

dougdirt
05-08-2012, 02:27 PM
He's a pitcher who throws 100 MPH. Odds are he's going to get hurt again, no matter how he's handled.

If he's hurting, don't pitch him. Otherwise, just use common sense.

Has anyone actually shown that velocity has anything to do with injuries?

GoReds
05-08-2012, 02:35 PM
Chapman throws 96 consistently and looks like he's throwing changeups. Scott Williamson threw 96 and looked like he was trying to hit 150.

757690
05-08-2012, 03:10 PM
Has anyone actually shown that velocity has anything to do with injuries?

Okay, he's a pitcher. Odds are he's going to get hurt.

kaldaniels
05-08-2012, 03:16 PM
Just guessing here, but the general rule of thumb has worked fairly well where as a customized approach doesn't have much backing behind it in terms of data to go on.

Like I asked earlier though, what data is the 30 IP derived from?

757690
05-08-2012, 03:59 PM
Like I asked earlier though, what data is the 30 IP derived from?

I believe Verducci was the first to use that number. He did do some light research to determine that number, but mostly it was a logical guess.

dougdirt
05-08-2012, 04:00 PM
I believe Verducci was the first to use that number. He did do some light research to determine that number, but mostly it was a logical guess.

Some teams were doing it before he noted it.

757690
05-08-2012, 04:18 PM
Some teams were doing it before he noted it.

Correct. That was the light research he did. He just asked around, and found the scouts je asked used around this number. it also just seemed to make sense. But there hasn't been any hard research that backs up this number.

DGullett35
05-08-2012, 06:27 PM
Put him in the pen in August, or give him extra rest between starts. If this team makes the playoffs theres no way he isn't my game 1 starter