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Video: Should Strasburg be shut down?

Jul 13, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Mark appeared on SportsNet Central Thursday night to preview the second half and discuss scenarios for Stephen Strasburg as he approaches his expected innings limit.

  1. JamesFan - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    To the question, yes, he should be shutdown. Long-term v. uncertain short term.

  2. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Davey has won 85 games or more 10 times and 90 or more 6 times…he has been to 1 World Series. He knows how hard it is to make it there. If the Nats continue to play baseball the way they have in the 1st half, no way does Strasburg not pitch in September and the playoffs. The NL is very weak this year and very winnable. Chances like this are too good to pass up in order to save 20 extra innings of wear and tear on his arm. They have to figure something out!!! Put his limit at 180 and make him a 4th starter in the playoffs if they get there.

  3. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Before you up his innings limit I think you have to–(a) see how he does in August. His last three starts and the ASG have not been great. He may be hitting the wall as it is;(b) see if you can get a reasonable SP at the deadline.Personally, I would like to see Rizzo hold firm, for the reasons Boz outlined in his article. Yes, you may lose something in the clubhouse–especially RZ who has been waiting a long time. OTOH, you gain with players and future players (like Giolito) who know you are not going to blow their arms (and careers) out for one year in what could be a losing cause. Remember, the hitters have to hit, or all the pitching in the world won't win it. This is something that does not have to be decided until late August. If we have a 10 game lead or have completely collapsed then it's obvious, shut him down. The only question is if it's a tight race and I still say, then you may be wasting his career on a lost cause. Bottom line, there are almost no scenario that I can see where you would want him pitching in September, and certainly not in October going 200+ innings. Mick posted very well on this yesterday.I am SO tired of this topic.

  4. Steady Eddie - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Nats lady @ 1:40:Word.

  5. MicheleS - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I woul like to say "Move on please, nothing to look at here…" problem is all the talking heads and even some players will chime in non stop as that day approaches. Fans who have been invested in this team for years understand that he has to be shut down.

  6. joemktg - Jul 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Not only the Nats, but other clubs as well: why do they start the innings count on Opening Day as opposed to a month into the season? Just don't understand why pitchers coming back from TJ are not in an extended Spring Training calendar, and start up early May so that they can get through September into early October.

  7. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Good question, joe, and one I thought about a lot in the spring. I think there are several reasons:(1) Games in April count just as much as games in September. It doesn't seem like it, but they do. The Nats built up a good portion of their current lead with that 14-4 start in April.(2) Games in April are somewhat easier to win if you have good pitching, because the pitchers are warmed up and the hitters seem to need more time to catch up. So you give yourself, again, a chance to pile up a lead in April if you let your pitchers crush the opposition, and then hope for .500++ the rest of the season.(3) Logistically and teamwise, you don't want to leave a star pitcher behind. Pitchers have their routines and you want to get the rotation set and moving. If you have a "failure" and have to make a move, you want to make it as early as possible (as happened with the Nats and CMW). If your rotation is succeeding without the star pitcher, how do you fit him in when it's June? (4) Injuries can occur at any moment. If you have 5 healthy pitchers at the end of spring training, you bring them up and use them. If don't do that, and you have an injury but your star pitcher has not ramped up yet, you have a double loss, you lose the injured pitcher but you can't yet replace him with the star pitcher.

  8. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Davey is "famous" for wanting a hot April start. So you also have the stopper effect–namely, you don't want to start off the season with an early 9 or 10-game losing streak. Yes, you can succeed despite that, but you are dealing with a young team here, a team that could get discouraged. The top of your rotation (and your manager, and your veterans) is what you count on to keep the losing streaks at 3-4 or at most 5 games.

  9. baseballswami - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Strasburg is one player out of 25 that helped the Nats have a good first half. He plays once every five days. He is important , but so is every other player. One thing that I like about the Nats is the balance. Every player counts every day , but one individual is not the be all and end all.

  10. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    The number of innings is just a stand-in marker, it's not absolute, but there is no blood test for "he's worn out, shut him down," and they know the risk is increased for a 23-year-old coming off TJ, so they use innings for lack of anything better. It's approximate, which is why Rizzo won't commit to a firm number, and rightly so.

  11. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    But the thing that will break his arm again, or not, is the actual workload on it–how much, and how hard, is he throwing, and what pitches is he throwing? Bullpen sessions, spring training, long toss, etc., is not as stressful as pitching in a game, but it's still work for the arm, and carries some risk, and some wear-and-tear. Again, "innings" is just a rough stand-in marker, it's not the only thing that counts.

  12. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Oh, I almost thought there was real baseball, but they are having rain in Chicago. Boo. Yes, the idea of extending Stras by skipping starts, etc., defeats the purpose. Once you shut him down, you shut him down and let the arm completely rest and heal for several months.

  13. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    So, imagine they shut him down around mid-September, with a lead, and win the division "without him" or some deadline pickup like Greinke or Dempster. No one-game wild-card playoff, so they're good. NLDS, they only need three pitchers anyway, so Znn-Gio-Jax. Anything can happen in a short series, but I like their chances against a wildcard team, or other division leader, that probably used up its ace to get that far.It probably becomes an issue by the NLCS, "if and only if" they get that far.

  14. pwilly - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Fear and Ignorance…what an appropriate handle.Finally saw B. Posey and T. Kurkjian explain Rizzo's point about shutting SS down AND they fully supported the decision. I could beg and plead to drop this subject, at least locally but it wouldn't do any good.

  15. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Thought experiment:Suppose you could guarantee the Nationals would win the World Series, but would blow out Strasburg's arm in the procss. He might still pitch, for a few years, sorta, but he wouldn't be Jeezuz anymore. Would HE take that deal? At 23? All that career, all those free agent contract years, any shot he might have had at the Hall, all that goes away. For one good year. A really good year, but still. Would Rizzo be wrong to take it?

  16. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    If your ace pitcher comes up in May (or June) he's a month behind in seeing the hitters, in discussing them with his rotation-mates and pitching coaches, in seeing how the infield works, stuff like that. His arm may be fresh, but his MLB mind and instincts may be a little slow, and he will be matching with opposition hitters who are up to speed. The more I think about it, the more I think it's the right thing to do to bring Stras up with the rest of the staff.

  17. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Bottom line, it's a team. And short of injury, you don't leave a teammate behind in extended spring training.

  18. NCNatsie - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Yes, and these guys aren't like other people. They are elite athletes operating at the extremes of their own exceptional ability. To do that, they have to stay revved up and hot. If they cool off, it takes a while to get back up there, especially for pitchers, where touch is so important, and a couple of inches off in your control can be everything.

  20. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    PWilly-Buster Olney…not Buster Posey. Don't you have a PNats game to get dressed up for tonight?

  21. Tcostant - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Just stop it – he is getting shut down and it's the right thing to do. Not only because of TJ surgery but because he is a pitcher under 25 and inning ramp ups usually are bad news.

  22. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    So, something like Detwiler + Clippard/Storen for several weeks of Dempster? Too much. Maybe Storen for Dempster, even up. TyMo, even up, even. But that's about it.Somebody else is bound to beat that offer, if only in taking Soriano as part of it.

  23. NCNatsie - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Well, I had several typos in my 2:49, and thought I'd better delete, copy and fix, but somehow the copy part didn't take, so I'm starting from scratch.Ahem. Shut Strasburg down as per plan. Nats Lady is right in having noticed a slight to moderate falling off in his production recently. But that's not even the main point, which is that Rizzo, etc, have shown with JZimm how it works.BUT…first, go get Dempster. The guy has a 1.99 ERA and is pitching lights out RIGHT NOW. Having him gives us the best chance for both the long range benefit of Strasburg's career and a just as good a chance (or better)to win this year as if we let Stras pitch out the season.If it has to be a 3 month rental, so be it. Lots of teams have put a WS trophy on their shelf that way. If it makes sense to sign him for a longer term, that's fine, too. It probably simply means you don't offer EJax an extension — unless, possibly, Detwiler is part of the deal, which I think would be most interesting to Theo E. I would also be prepared to offer any of our rookies except Harper, and any of our position player prospects, none of which we can seem to find a place for anyway.

  24. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I'll just reference my response here, then, Natsie.

  25. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    But I will add this: Don't mistake roster issues for surplus of talent. They do not have too much pitching, in the bullpen or the minors. They do not have too much bench. They have some roster issues, with options, or lack thereof, and longer-term projects like Henry who they aren't through with yet, or CMW, who they pretty much are, mostly, but still, there's no surplus. Unless the Mayans were right after all, there will be a baseball season next year, and the year after that, and Rizzo is responsible for them, too, not just this one. We operate under no such handicap, thankfully.

  26. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I wouldn't offer anyone out of the bullpen except Mattheus (or Henry, but I don't think they would take Henry). You can't spare two bullpen parts, and we are sending Mattheus down anyway. Detwiler is better than Lannan but they won't take Lannan. So you give Theo Det, Mattheus and TyMo or Lombo (or Corey Brown). Yes, it's a rental, and that's a lot for a rental. Nothing you can do. Might be able to get Wandy for less. If they won't bite, then you go with what you have. It's not panic time.

  27. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Thanks for the compliments gang and I will follow sjm's advice and maintain myself and emotions if things get off to a rocky start mid season.on another noteFirm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said…Maybe Storen for Dempster, even up. TyMo, even up, even. But that's about it.Clip and Storen should be off the table. I was thinking maybe…. to get a Grienke or Dempster via trade, give up the followingRendon, Meyer, Purke, and Lombo ouch… am i nuts or would this be possible?

  28. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    The history of renting a starting pitcher for a playoff run by overpaying is not good.Two words: Bartolo Colon.

  29. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    it seems that prospect could be the way to go here

  30. MicheleS - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Sofa, doubt they would want TyMo. They have a 1B right now – Anthony Rizzo, and LaHair is a 1B playing in the OF. If you give anything up for Dempster, is should be Minor Leaguers. Dempster is a rental and giving up MLB Players is not an even exchange.

  31. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Once you've decided to go beyond 160, where do you stop? Another 20 might get him through September. Then, skip over him in a one-game playoff? Pitch him twice in the LDS? Twice more in the LCS? Two or three times in the WS? (I guarantee you, Johnson has no interest in going to Jackson in Game Four.)If you start from the assumption the Nats can't win without a full serving of Strasburg every fifth game (fourth in the playoffs), then you're likely to end up somewhere around 202-210 — at a minimum. I just don't think that's a good bet.

  32. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    also… is it possible that the Nats wait for the Cubs to go stupid at the last minute and we get Dempster for almost nothing? Cubs history suggests that could be possible, lol

  33. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    ouch… am i nuts or would this be possible? Is that a trick question?; )

  34. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Firm, that is why I would not be hard and fast, just put out some offers…I would feel safer with another SP, but that's just me.

  35. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    mick, that was the old Cubs. They have Theo now, Theo is known for not being stupid.

  36. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I would not give up Moore, I think this kid is going to be a perennial All Star!

  37. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Nats…. right, I forgot about Theo..

  38. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said…ouch… am i nuts or would this be possible? I am asking all of you… I don't know?

  39. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    But I guess even Theo can't make the rain stop (despite his name). Later, folks! GO NATS!

  40. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Michele, I understand the Cubs FO is less than sold on both of them, but I agree, even Tyler Moore straight up is a lot IMO, but somebody, perhaps the Dodgers, will certainly wind up giving them more than that, so I thought I'd put a ceiling on what I thought the value was, as if my opinion mattered. Just passing the time, as the Lady said.

  41. SonnyG10 - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Stacking your rotation with another ace is not going to guarantee you anything. The Phillies tried that last year and didn't even get past the first round.Our #2, 3, and 4 pitchers can whip any team in the major leagues, if they're on their A game and get run support. We don't need another ace to come it.

  42. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Mick, OK. Overlooking the fact that draftees can't be traded for one year after they've signed, because there are ways around that, then you're drastically over-paying, for a pitcher they DO NOT NEED. So yes, I'd say nuts.

  43. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    SonnyG10… I agree with you, I would not make any trade at all

  44. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Now, if Strasburg were shut down, AND Znn or Gio blew his arm out, AND they hadn't extended Zimm, then maybe getting another ace would be more appealing.

  45. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said…that settles it, that is why NO trade

  46. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    If the Nats continue to play baseball the way they have in the 1st half, no way does Strasburg not pitch in September and the playoffs.And you'll be wrong as usual Oriole fan. That's something Angel'O's the jack ass might do … not this franchise … much higher class …

  47. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    speaking of which…

  48. alexva - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    there goes the neighborhood

  49. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    You can't spare two bullpen parts, and we are sending Mattheus down anyway. I wouldn't say Mattheus is going down … as it is they've decided to wait on activating Storen. Meanwhile, tonight CMW gets a rehab start. Remember, Natslady, most every single rumored trade package seemed to include Drew Storen, not Ryan Mattheus and the trade deadline is upcoming. My guess that will still be the case if any move is going to be made before July 31st. There's more value in Storen (as you said you have to give high value to get high value back) then there is in Ryan Mattheus right now. And the NCNatsie the Nats ARE NOT going for Dempster, even for a rental. I can just imagine the price Epstein and Hoyer are asking. He's too old. Winning is important but they need to continue to build for the future simultaneously and be as good at it as any other franchise. They must to continue winning in the future.So, stop with the Dempster talk … it'll be Grienke before Dempster, and you can bet on that.

  50. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Game thread!

  51. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    there goes the neighborhoodSorry to hear you live near a slum.

  52. NCNatsie - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    I still think a three-man playoff rotation of Gio, JZimm and Dempster with our lineup wins the WS. Those teams that were trying to rent a starter and didn't succeed didn't have Gio and JZimm. And Dempster is superior to Colon.But then, I'm a fanatic here. I'd probably even be willing to take the Soriano deal someone mentioned. Then DFA him at the first opportunity to get him out of the clubhouse. It's only money.

  53. NCNatsie - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Peric, Greinke is a head case. Dempster is a solid citizen and a better pitcher this year.I do agree with you about Angelos. he's the Peric of owners.

  54. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Following Jim Callis on twitter, hoping to hear some good news about Giolito.

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Kilgore seems pretty confident that Nats will sign him.

  56. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Then DFA him at the first opportunity to get him out of the clubhouse. It's only money. So that is you sitting behind home plate?

  57. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I still think a three-man playoff rotation of Gio, JZimm and Dempster with our lineup wins the WS.First let's look at your stats from an unbiased perspective … removing park and defense as factors.Ryan Dempster 78.6 xIP, 3.68 tRA, 5.6 pRAAZach Grienke 104.0 xIP, 2.64 tRA, 19.1 pRAA >>> Exactly the same level as Stras and Gio.Grienke is 28. Dempster is 35!!!There's a wide disparity in innings pitched and their unbiasedperformance are at entirely different levels!!? What are you thinking!!??Instead of Dempster (who really isn't as good as you think he is)how about this guy?Craig Stammen 40.5 xiP, 3.05 tRA, 5.7 pRAABefore I would even consider Dempster I'd put my eggs in Stammen's basket. With Gorzo as his backup.

  58. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    If Rizzo could get Dempster for practically nothing, meaning the Cubs just want to unload his contract, that would make sense. This could be a perfect fit, at 35, Dempster has his shot at a WS and maybe he pitches like a wild man the last 3 months. His maturity could also be a great fit in the club house where as Grienke could be a disease in the clubhouse

  59. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    And Grienke can't be that much of a head case to put up those kind of numbers consistently. Keep in mind, Grienke is a baseball geek. I suspect he wants to be a GM when he grows up. His recent antics may be a part of that … its hard to say … As for Angelos being the peric of owners? Angelos is a crooked mob lawyer who helped the governor of Baltimore steal Montgomery County tax payers' money to build stadiums … I am one of those tax payers.

  60. peric - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    His maturity could also be a great fit in the club house where as Grienke could be a disease in the clubhouseAgain, if that is your criteria then definitely, undoubtedly, Stammen, Gorzelanny, and Zach Duke deserve that shot first and foremost. The Nats do not have to Dempster Dive for 35 year old ancient twinkles.

  61. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I think you are doing Greinke a disservice, there. He's not Zambrano, he's just a bit intense. Maybe too much, but "disease" is way harsh, IMO. OTOH, 35 doesn't matter much if you don't have him when he's 36. So there's that. Like many have said, it's unlikely we'll see either of them here.

  62. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    peric… it is not my criteria, I just mention it as another asset about Dempster

  63. #4 - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I can't believe there is anyone still debating this. If they throw him past -September it would one of the most colossal bonehead moves ever.On another note, they also need to say no to the three month rental. In a previous life I was a Detroit Tiger fan. In 1987, the Tigers faced a similar situation, locked in a pennant race and needing one more arm. They traded for Doyle Alexander from the Braves who proceeded to go 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA to put the Tigers over the top in the AL East. The player they gave up? John Smoltz. As a Tiger fan I would have rather had the 20 years of Smoltz than one division title.

  64. mick - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    #4 said…On another note, they also need to say no to the three month rental. In a previous life I was a Detroit Tiger fan. In 1987,…and what happen, The Twins who won the AL west with only 83 wins upset your Tigers in the playoffs that season. The Tigers I believe won over 100 games that season

  65. TheManBearPig - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Unless the price tag is unexpectedly low, the Nats don't need to rent a pitcher. They shouldn't lose Strasburg until mid September and if they make the playoffs, they only need 4 starters and they have 4 that are at least as good as anyone else's top 4.

  66. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    The rental that sticks in the optimists' minds is David Cone to the Blue Jays in (1992?), that got them rings, but the odds aren't good.

  67. Secret wasian man - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Can we shut him at the innings limit and then if we make the post season bring him back? This whole thing seems crazy to me. If nats have a chance to win this thing you gotta go for it. NOW!!!

  68. Secret wasian man - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Last time I looked Ross and Edwin were pretty darn mediocre. If you must shut down Stras you gotta go get Dempster. If not you've played 162 games of exhibition baseball.

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