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View Full Version : Interesting question: pull Strasburg at 160 IP?



Brutus
07-12-2012, 08:02 PM
I saw this topic being discussed today on ESPN and it's an interesting one. The Nationals insist they will pull the plug on Strasburg once he reaches 160 innings this year (he's currently at 100).

Should the Nationals waive this plan or stick to it?

vaticanplum
07-12-2012, 08:25 PM
My truthful answer would be to play it by ear, see where they are, see what the doctors say, etc., but I think the Nats would be very smart to lift him after 160 innings and I would support that if I were a Nats fan. He's too young and too good to risk losing long-term, and the makeup of the team is such that I don't think this year will be their last chance to compete.

Raisor
07-12-2012, 08:35 PM
He's already had one tendon replacement surgery and he's still only 23. I'd shut him down and not fret over it for a second.

pedro
07-12-2012, 08:37 PM
Probably not as long as they're in first.

I might move him down to the 5th slot, keep him on a short leash and limit his pitches and innings until the playoffs though.

757690
07-12-2012, 08:38 PM
Pennants fly forever. Pitchers arms don't last nearly as long, and are easier to replace.

Let him pitch. Odds are that he'll get injured even if they treat him with kid gloves. Plus, I've seen many teams built much more soundly for the future than the Nats fall apart after their big breakout year. As they say, you don't choose pennant years, they choose you.

DGullett35
07-12-2012, 08:43 PM
No way they pull him in a pennant race with a month to go or longer. as long as this team is in first I say let him pitch. maybe they can just limit his innings a little on each start. Do what the Rockies are doing so to speak.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 08:58 PM
He's already had one tendon replacement surgery and he's still only 23. I'd shut him down and not fret over it for a second.

I second this.

PuffyPig
07-12-2012, 09:00 PM
I might move him down to the 5th slot.....

...where he would pitch every 5th day.....

pedro
07-12-2012, 09:17 PM
...where he would pitch every 5th day.....

5th starters typically get skipped every few turns through the rotation so it would limit his innings some.

powersackers
07-12-2012, 09:35 PM
They are going about it all wrong. Limit to 160 ish yes. But pull the plug now. Send him to the DL with "oblique issues" for 30 days. Let him be with the team. Then pitch him down the stretch and playoffs.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 09:49 PM
They are going about it all wrong. Limit to 160 ish yes. But pull the plug now. Send him to the DL with "oblique issues" for 30 days. Let him be with the team. Then pitch him down the stretch and playoffs.

You can't DL players without their permission.

vic715
07-12-2012, 10:22 PM
LOL what happened to the good old days when 160 innings was half a seasons work.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 10:24 PM
What happened to the good old days when 160 innings was a half a seasons work.

Pitch counts in little leagues because kids started throwing curves at age 11 and blowing out their arms at 13.

LegallyMinded
07-12-2012, 10:28 PM
Definitely shut him down. The Nationals have the chance to be competitive for years to come. This isn't an "all in" year a la Milwaukee in 2011, and they don't have to go for it all now. Save Strasburg some wear and tear to ensure he can contribute for the next several seasons.

kbrake
07-12-2012, 10:54 PM
I don't know much about arm injuries but I think it is far from an exact science. I'd play it by ear and go as long as possible.

Caveat Emperor
07-12-2012, 10:57 PM
Honestly? I'd probably let him pitch as long as the team was in contention.

11larkin11
07-12-2012, 11:00 PM
I chose the wrong option, BUT, here is why I say pull him:

Look at that freaking rotation. Sure, he would be great to have in October. But a Gonzalez-Zimmerman-Jackson-Detwiler rotation ain't too shabby to have in the playoffs. With Strasburg in there instead of Jackson, yeah he has better numbers, but after watching the Reds in 2010, I truly believe that playoff experience matters (minus Rolen who sucked that series). Jackson has it, and pitched in the WS last year.

But, that's also why I'm still not sold on the Nationals. I think they're definitely the best team in the National League, but what happens when the bright lights of October are shone on Gonzalez, Zimmermans, Harper, Desmond, Morse, Henry Rodriguez, Bernadina, possibly Strasburg? The only real guys they have with playoff experience are Werth and Jackson.

We may not have much more, but we have some experience now. And the Cards, Braves, and Giants have a lot.

Chip R
07-13-2012, 12:16 AM
Perhaps there could be some sort of compromise. The Nats let him pitch another 30-40 innings then shut him down till the last 2 weeks of the season. If they need him, let him go. If not, have him pitch a few innings each start to tune him up for the playoffs.

Spitball
07-13-2012, 12:30 AM
No way would I pitch him past 160. The guy has very similar mechanics to Mark Prior and needs to be handled very carefully.

vaticanplum
07-13-2012, 01:54 AM
Pitch counts in little leagues because kids started throwing curves at age 11 and blowing out their arms at 13.

Also, steroids and a return to smaller parks. Forced pitchers to get stronger and craftier, and then there was a trickle-down standard set in terms of training and IP.

vaticanplum
07-13-2012, 01:55 AM
You can't DL players without their permission.

If he's getting pulled after 160 innings regardless, I can't see him arguing a DL stint that would allow him to pitch late in a playoff run and perhaps the postseason.

cincrazy
07-13-2012, 02:17 AM
I think it's absurd to sit him because of what "might" happen in the future. They'd already been careful with him previously, and he needed TJ surgery anyways. This may be a once-in-a-generation chance. They can't win the World Series without him. They can slow him down some, that's fine. Limit his innings, skip some starts. But I'd run him out there in October, for sure.

cincrazy
07-13-2012, 02:18 AM
No way would I pitch him past 160. The guy has very similar mechanics to Mark Prior and needs to be handled very carefully.

I think if that's the case, he's going to break down regardless correct?

mth123
07-13-2012, 02:23 AM
I'd pull him. You can't really play it by ear. In these situations the problem doesn't really show itself until the following year. He'd probably look fine at 175 or 190 innings, but the risk is that his arm won't fully bounce back over the offseason since its possible that his muscles aren't fully mature at age 23. If he were in the same innings situation at age 25, I'd say his muscles are probably as muture as they're going to get and to let 'er rip and throw as long as he can. If his arm doesn't fully recover, he'd come into spring with "reduced arm strength" that would first show itself with reduced comand. At some point a slight drop in velocity would reveal itself followed by a slight compensation in mechanics to get it back. Next thing you know the guy is walking off the mound holding his shoulder.

Its possible he could pitch 190 innings and everything be fine, but if there is even a slight increase in the risk the scenario above occurs due to making such a huge jump in innings pitched at such a young age, I'd err on the side of caution. You're not just talking about the team winning and losing, your talking about a kid's future and I don't see how it matters whether the team is in contention or not. This isn't about he Nats, its about the future of a 23 year old kid who's not all grown up yet.

RedsManRick
07-13-2012, 06:24 AM
This is 100% a scouting decision in my mind. How's his delivery look? How's his velocity and movement? How quickly is he recovering? The last thing that shoudl drive this decision is an arbitrary number.

mth123
07-13-2012, 07:06 AM
This is 100% a scouting decision in my mind. How's his delivery look? How's his velocity and movement? How quickly is he recovering? The last thing that shoudl drive this decision is an arbitrary number.

I think he can go to 200 inings and look just fine. His velocity and movement may not change at all. Next year is when it will show and it will be too late to go back and undo it. Its arbitrary for sure, and certainly unnecessary in a whoie lot of cases, but its not really possible to tell until you try it and see what happens.

A lot of people have a mistaken impression of what limiting the innings progression of kids 23 and under is all about. It is purely a precaution to prevent a medical issue from developing later. In that way its much like wearing sunscreen. Many people can can go out in the sun all day long and never suffer any consequences. Some, though, end-up developing melanoma down the road and many of them die. The result is that its generally recommended that everyone wear some protection from the sun. This innings thing is the same kind of precaution. Many guys can keep going and suffer no ill effects. Some, though, end-up being unable to recover in the off-season and the consequences show the following year. As a result, the conventional wisdom is to impose the limit on everyone 23 and under. A scout can't tell who is going to have trouble recovering. Ignore at your own risk. Chances are that there will be no adverse impact.

hebroncougar
07-13-2012, 08:04 AM
I think it's absurd to sit him because of what "might" happen in the future. They'd already been careful with him previously, and he needed TJ surgery anyways. This may be a once-in-a-generation chance. They can't win the World Series without him. They can slow him down some, that's fine. Limit his innings, skip some starts. But I'd run him out there in October, for sure.

That's exactly what I was going to post. They treated him with kid gloves already and he got hurt. I'd skip him when possible, and not let him throw over 100 or so pitches, but as long as you aren't abusing him, send hum out there.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

cumberlandreds
07-13-2012, 08:39 AM
As long as the Nats are in the race and he is having no arm difficulties at all he should stay in the rotation. You never know when or if you will be in a pennant race again. The Nats look like a team on the rise but we all have seen team like this only to fizzle out and away. If the Nats do pull him while they are in 1st place and they go ahead and miss out on the playoffs they will lose this fanbase. The people in the DC area are just now getting turned on by this team and franchise. The Nats need to keep them on an upswing. If they lose the fanbase they may never get them back.

dougdirt
07-13-2012, 12:38 PM
Also, steroids and a return to smaller parks. Forced pitchers to get stronger and craftier, and then there was a trickle-down standard set in terms of training and IP.

I don't think steroids have anything to do with it at all.

Brutus
07-13-2012, 04:15 PM
I think it's absurd to sit him because of what "might" happen in the future. They'd already been careful with him previously, and he needed TJ surgery anyways. This may be a once-in-a-generation chance. They can't win the World Series without him. They can slow him down some, that's fine. Limit his innings, skip some starts. But I'd run him out there in October, for sure.

I'm typically not big on inning and pitch requirements, but the fact it's already happened once is probably the reason to exercise extra caution this time around. After all, he did just come back from major surgery. I'm not sure it would be a good idea to run 200 innings on him this year.

I'm in the 'play it by ear' camp, nonetheless.

757690
07-13-2012, 10:21 PM
You're not just talking about the team winning and losing, your talking about a kid's future and I don't see how it matters whether the team is in contention or not. This isn't about he Nats, its about the future of a 23 year old kid who's not all grown up yet.

If I'm GM of the Nat's, all I care about is the Nat's.

I'm sure Strasberg is a nice kid, and I wish him no harm, but pitchers are like drill bits. You use them until they don't work no more, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Sure some drill bits are nicer and better than others, but in the end, they are just drill bits, meant to do a job, and highly replaceable.

dougdirt
07-13-2012, 10:22 PM
If I'm GM of the Nat's, all I care about is the Nat's.

I'm sure Strasberg is a nice kid, and I wish him no harm, but pitchers are like drill bits. You use them until they don't work no more, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Sure some drill bits are nicer and better than others, but in the end, they are just drill bits, meant to do a job, and highly replaceable.

Pitchers like Strasburg aren't highly replaceable.

mth123
07-14-2012, 03:05 AM
If I'm GM of the Nat's, all I care about is the Nat's.

I'm sure Strasberg is a nice kid, and I wish him no harm, but pitchers are like drill bits. You use them until they don't work no more, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Sure some drill bits are nicer and better than others, but in the end, they are just drill bits, meant to do a job, and highly replaceable.

Glad you're not my boss and hope you're not in charge of anything involving people with that twisted thiking. I'd say the health of the pitcher, even if he's just a fringe guy, should come first.

In the case of the Nats, if I'm GM, its in my best interest to keep Strasburg healthy and productive for years. If the future matters so little, why not just deal him straight up for Hamels? Hamels could top the rotation through the post-season with no restrictions and leave as a free agent. It hurts the future because they'll have no Strasburg and no Hamels, but they can just find another "drill bit."

757690
07-14-2012, 03:45 AM
Glad you're not my boss and hope you're not in charge of anything involving people with that twisted thiking. I'd say the health of the pitcher, even if he's just a fringe guy, should come first.

In the case of the Nats, if I'm GM, its in my best interest to keep Strasburg healthy and productive for years. If the future matters so little, why not just deal him straight up for Hamels? Hamels could top the rotation through the post-season with no restrictions and leave as a free agent. It hurts the future because they'll have no Strasburg and no Hamels, but they can just find another "drill bit."

My main point about the drill bits is that all pitchers wear down, and most wear down after just a few years. That has to be understood when dealing with all pitchers. Sure Strasberg is better than most pitchers and hard to replace, but the odds are that the Nat's will have to replace him sooner rather than later, no matter what they do.

To me it's like eating donuts. I can stop eating them and maybe live a few years longer, but I'm not going to live forever either way. I'd rather enjoy them why I can and take my chances.

mth123
07-14-2012, 03:55 AM
My main point about the drill bits is that all pitchers wear down, and most wear down after just a few years. That has to be understood when dealing with all pitchers. Sure Strasberg is better than most pitchers and hard to replace, but the odds are that the Nat's will have to replace him sooner rather than later, no matter what they do.

To me it's like eating donuts. I can stop eating them and maybe live a few years longer, but I'm not going to live forever either way. I'd rather enjoy them why I can and take my chances.

Its not like that at all. Eat all the donuts you want, its your own health your playing with. When you start forcing some one else to risk their health by force feeding him donuts to satisfy your own interests, that changes the picture a bit.

1990REDS
07-14-2012, 10:51 AM
I pull him at 160 and don't think twice about it or feel the least bit bad about it. This guy has the stuff and the makeup to anchor your rotation for the next 7-10 years. How many future playoff runs are you possibly jeopardizing for one this year? Not to mention being just one year removed from TJ surgery you need to be extra cautious with him. Strasburg is not a drill bit, he is the 100,000 dollar water jet cutter that your company just purchased and needs to be running for you for the next decade. It needs to be properly maintained and taken care of to get the most out of it for the longest period of time.