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Video: Strasburg, rotation and Storen

Oct 17, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

In this latest TV segment from CSN’s Geico SportsNet Central, I discuss what — if any — restrictions the Nationals will have on Stephen Strasburg next season, what — if any — changes Mike Rizzo will make to his starting rotation and what — if any — lingering effect Friday night’s blown save will have on Drew Storen.

  1. Joe Seamhead - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Honestly, I think Mike Rizzo will try to get another starter better then Jackson or Lannan, but he will only do it from a position of strength. He's willing to go another year with what he has if it means selling the farm is the only alternative. I still think virtually everything starts with resolving ALR one way or the other is the first order of business. If ALR is signed, then the chips that Rizzo goes to the table with are completely different then if Adam walks.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    video not working for me.JoeS, what chips are you suggesting in either scenarios?

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    it worked.

  4. Section 222 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    More grist for the Strasburg Shutdown mill. This is from that CSN story on the right about familiar faces between the Tigers and Yankes. It's actually an AP story:GO THE DISTANCE: Jack Morris knows all about heavy workloads.The former Detroit Tigers ace threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday night before Game 3 of the ALCS. Asked what he thought about Justin Verlander's shutout in Game 5 of the division series against Oakland, Morris took an unsolicited swipe at the Washington Nationals for shutting down Stephen Strasburg in September.“I think everybody in the Washington Nationals' front office should pay attention that guys should go deep into games,'' Morris said. “I shouldn't say that, should I?''Strasburg was shut down with about 3 1/2 weeks left in his first “full'' season following reconstructive elbow surgery. Wanting to protect his arm, the Nationals put an innings limit on their young ace.Morris, who won seven postseason games for Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto, said Verlander isn't the only active pitcher working deep in games. He noted that CC Sabathia also threw a complete game to help the Yankees get past Baltimore in their previous series.“It reminds me that there's still hope,'' Morris said. “I believe the pitch count is overrated. I think the whole thing will come to fruition, the cycle, the experiment, and they will see that there is value in starting pitching to go deep in the games, to help save the bullpen.''

  5. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    "Chips" depends on what you're looking for. The only surplus players on the active roster right now (that are not FAs), especially if LaRoche leaves, are Gorzellany, maybe Mattheus, Flores and Bernadina. If a big fish is what you're aiming for, any minor leaguer that you don't see holding a regular job for at least five seasons, starting some time in the next three years. I think the only untouchables are Rendon and Giolito, possibly Myers.

  6. bowdenball - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Section 222-It was pointed out on Twitter that when Morris was Strasburg's age he pitched just 106 innings. His team used him out of the pen as a way to limit his innings early in his career.The way the series played out should put an end to the Strasburg debate. Gio was the clear #1 even if Strasburg was active so he wouldn't have gotten two starts. and Strasburg couldn't possibly have done better than his replacement did- oen unearned run, game ended in a Nats win. Case closed. Anyone who argues differently is just starved for attention.

  7. MicheleS - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I Love DRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!Stras will be fine next year. Just need to figure out #5. Again.. all depends on the first domino.. ALR.BTW.. got the video to work on google chrome, but not on IE or Firefox.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Hope to see the video from my desktop computer.

  9. Section 222 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Swami, I totally agree the case should be closed. And it's true that Stras's replacement in the playoff rotation (Det) was outstanding. I think you're wrong though about Gio being the clear #1. Davey recognized before Opening Day that Stras was our No. 1, regardless of the talents of our other starters. If he had played, he would have started Games 1 in the NLDS, especially since he is righthanded. No doubt about it, as Davey would say.

  10. bowdenball - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I think that was intended for me, 222.No way to know for sure, but I'm fairly certain that Gio would have started Game 1 even if Strasburg was active. I remember Davey's statements about Stras before Opening day, but that was a long time ago, before the organization knew how much Gio was going to progress in 2012, and he'd made plenty of statements about Gio since then. And the second half numbers make for a pretty easy decision too. Opponent OPS against Gio was nearly 100 points lower than against Strasburg. And Strasburg wasn't trending in the right direction, that's for sure. I actually think they shut him down a game early because they saw that he had nothing left, the stuff about the shutdown distraction may have just been an excuse.

  11. Section 222 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Right. bowdenball. How I mistook you for swami is a mystery. I guess this is the problem with counterfactuals. If we assume that Strasburg is on the roster and available to pitch, do we also assume that he kept up his decline to mediocrity that we saw in the last and third to last start? I don't know. What I do know is that everyone recognized him as the ace of the staff, for the whole year until he was shut down. Against the RH heavy STL lineup, I just don't think Davey would set up the rotation to have him start only once if the series went 5 games.While we're imagining though, if Stras started Game 2, I do love the idea of Stras coming in for the crucial 7th inning in Game 4. Something tells me we would have seen that 100 mph heater that he never threw this year. Whoa!

  12. Dave - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    I watched the video, even though the header had "Strasburg" in it.Mark clearly explains the process of increasing innings from year to year. It's easy for old guys who were taken care of in their youth to say "pitchers ought to go long in games," but once again, Morris has no interest at all in Strasburg's future with this team or in major-league baseball.I am really glad Rizzo stuck to his guns on this one.Not worried about Drew. Just watch his brief presser right after the horrible game. He sounded like somebody who will be back at full strength next year.

  13. Dave - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Google Chrome working fine on my school's networked computer. Video plays without any problem.

  14. SonnyG10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Downloaded Google Chrome and was able to watch the video.

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Just saw the 8K performance by JZ-Clip-Drew again! awesome stuff!

  16. MicheleS - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Just FYI for Mark on the video. Tried it on Firefox/IE on 2 different computers and it didn't work on either. Have Chrome on the home PC and it worked fine.

  17. baseballswami - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I got yesterday's video but it's not working today. I get tired of people on the radio and tv acting as if our starters CAN'T go more than six innings when it's just that it's not Davey Johnsons' style to keep starters in longer than six or seven innings. Sheesh, guys, do your research!! Davey takes them out because he likes bullpen guys involved and having roles in the 7th, 8th and 9th and he also takes pitchers out most of the time to put in pinch hitters for offense. We have usually needed it about that time. Pitcher's spot coming due and it's anywhere around the sixth – you can rest assured you will see a pinch hitter. He also likes to keep them involved in the game and use them a lot. Too much thinking that is a mile wide and about an inch deep.

  18. John C. - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Adam Wainwright just turned 31yo, is only under contract for one more season, and has thrown 200+ innings three of the past four years. Strasburg just turned 24, is under team control for three more seasons, and has never thrown as many innings as he had this year. At Strasburg's age Wainwright was coming off of an injury season (63 IP at age 22; Strasburg's equivalent was last year with 44.1 IP) and ramped his age 23 season up to 184 IP (159.1 for Strasburg).Guess what? Wainwright got hurt again in his next season, only pitching 75 innings. Maybe Wainwright should pay attention to his own career before anointing himself a medical expert.

  19. Section 222 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    For your reading pleasure, an eerily prescient piece from Grantland about the Nats from March 2012. The same guy wrote perhaps the most reasoned argument for not shutting Strasburg down that I've seen. (H/t commenter "Ben" from Harper's blog for the Strasburg piece, which contained a link to the March piece.)

  20. Steady Eddie - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    222 — the March piece on the Nats was interesting, and I would agree it's prescient for someone who doesn't regularly follow the Nats. He did a good job in dissecting exactly what the Marlins did get in terms of individual players. But what struck me in reading it is that you could have put together parts about the Nats in comparison to the respective Fish players by reading many NI regulars' comments on this site, evaluating how we would be better than the Fish. (Of course, we got to that conclusion not just by seeing how we had better players, but because team chemistry was positive in our case — very intentionally so on Rizzo's part — and predictably explosive in the case of the Fish.)Not so impressed with the Strasburg argument. He does indeed dissect the "limits on young developing pitchers" issue and the "coming back from TJ" issue with some fairly lengthy and often pretty tangential history (some of the examples he gives have virtually nothing to say either way about Stras).But the overarching, glaring weakness in his argument is that he never tries to put — or acknowledges that he should put — the "young developing pitcher" issue and the "coming back from TJ" issues together. I think by the end of the summer, most of us on this site recognized that it was the combination of the two, which also applied completely to JZimm, that warranted the shutdown. And he never even bothers to look at Stras' or JZimm's innings histories, which is why the combination of young pitcher/TJ is so important and powerful. In fact, early on he says counting innings is ridiculous, you should count pitches, ignoring the reality that those of us who've watched Stras since 2010 know: that over the course of a couple dozen starts, the differences in pitches per inning is a wash. He almost always has some innings where he struggles to 20+ pitches and some where he's out after 7 or 8 (though JZimm was better at the latter when he was on).The point of the article was that this guy has made a good and successful past campaign to avoid high pitch counts, and that's what this article was based on — the conclusion that Stras was not in trouble because of high pitch counts (though again, he never bothers to track Stras' pitch counts across the season, just noting that there are few 100+ appearances, and so concluding he can keep throwing).His TJ argument was a quick and dirty throw in at the end, never connected to Stras or JZimm's past history of innings, and never even mentions the post-TJ year deterioration in performance towards the end of the season. And as we also well know, several of Stras' mid-summer games that look solid in the box score were less than dominant when you saw his control issues in the stadium.For what it's worth, my take is that it's a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.(Sorry, sometimes the precise quotes just work.)

  21. baseballswami - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    What is it with David Freese and October? By the way – if you are bored there is a nats classic on. It's dibble so maybe watch with the sound muted. But it is really interesting to see who was on our team. Maybe it's 2010? Nyger is on the team and in centerfield, playing for the Phils is — Jayson Werth. Apparently Zim is going to hit a walk off at about 10 pm. I might turn it back on later to watch that part.

  22. Steady Eddie - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I hope that between some of the Cards' classless and arrogant comments, and these repulsive, self-aggrandizing media jerks (straining hard to keep it clean, here Mark, but it's a struggle), the Nats get a little "us against the world" edge next season, and have a constant kick-butt attitude.

  23. mick - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…Honestly, I think Mike Rizzo will try to get another starter better then Jackson or Lannan, but he will only do it from a "position of strength"I put quotes around the last 3 words of your post because this is perhaps the most under rated fact about the Nats. They are where the Yankees and Braves have been for over a decade, they can deal from a position of strength and that in itself is why this organization is going to be exciting for the next decade!

  24. Steady Eddie - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    "Media jerks" was a reference to this — http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2012/10/17/feinstein-nats-would-have-won-with-strasburg/Any Nats fans who see that slimebag at bball games this winter should give him hell.

  25. mick - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Hiya Eddie..I lost all respect for Junior Feinstein and I actually had not been a fan of his over the last few years. He seems pompus now

  26. baseballswami - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Steady Eddie- I was thinking that very same thing. Very odd to me to have animosity towards the Nats because the entire team is a bunch of squeaky clean Boy Scouts. Rizzo and Davey are the ones with the arrogance and bluster.

  27. Drew - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Arizona Fall League update:Rendon goes 2 for 5 with a double, knocks in 3 runs and ups his average to .316.

  28. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Drew said… Arizona Fall League update:Rendon goes 2 for 5 with a double, knocks in 3 runs and ups his average to .316. October 17, 2012 9:19 PM ________________________________Nice to hear! Is he playing 3rd or 2nd?

  29. baseballswami - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Three and a half hour rain delay. No AL game.

  30. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=543634I see Ryan Perry is getting bashed. Didn't last long in his start today.Rendon I see was the DH.

  31. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    "The Washington Nationals have taken a lot of risks in drafting injured players in recent years, but one of the biggest was 2011 3rd Round pick Matt Purke, who reportedly had surgery on the shoulder he originally injured in college."

  32. NatsNut - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    LOL. The hidden sixth stage of grief. It comes after the schadenfreude stage, but before the maniacal laughter stage. MicheleS said…Swami…I am now in the Revenge stage of grief.

  33. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    MicheleS – Best revenge is to steal Kyle Lohse in Free Agency. That is sweet revenge as Scott Boras will not allow him to stay in St. Louis for a hometown discount.

  34. rabbit34 - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Starters should pitch longer if they are going well. If going well, you know what you have. Using different relievers for the 7th, 8th, and 9th only gives you three chances to have one of them blow the game.

  35. fast eddie - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Listening to Atlanta sports talk, the Barves have a tough decision to make (similar to ALR situation) re: McCann. They have a $12m option on him for 2013. He needs off-season surgery and may not be ready in April. David Ross, 36, is the back-up.Question: Given our surplus of catching talent, would Rizzo trade with the Barves? Their bullpen arguably is better than ours.

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