Skip to content

Strasburg comes to grips with shutdown

Feb 19, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

On the September day when he was informed he was being shut down just shy of 160 innings pitched, a clearly perturbed Stephen Strasburg said he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to accept the Nationals’ decision. As you can see from my one-on-one interview with Strasburg that aired on Comcast SportsNet last night, the right-hander came to grips with the shutdown over the winter and is determined now to pitch 200-plus innings this season.

  1. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Good to know that Strasburg has moved forward!

  2. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    The PECOTA projections has Strasburg with big improvements over last year although they have him at 178 innings.

  3. Rabbit34 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.

  4. Positively Half St. - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Rabbit34- You don't want exciting spring news when your team is supposed to be really good. Just have everybody healthy and relaxed and wait for the daily stream of games to begin. Hope that fringe players explode so they can be traded instead of released from a roster that has no room for them.

  5. Doc - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Stas's PECOTA projections are about the only thing that Baseball Prospectus got right about the Nats!Even Brian Kenny, on MLB TV disagreed with their findings.

  6. Doc - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    And further, a guy named Lindburgh representing Baseball Prospectus backed up the projected 88 wins in '13 by the Nats by saying, "…..we looked at their previous years, and thought that 88 wins was about right…". Really, Mr. Lindburgh?What exactly is it about the hapless Nats of previous years that projects onto our current great team? GIGO, Mr. Lindburgh

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    This is news in the same context that the Lindberg baby is still lost.

  8. BigCat - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I think we are gonna come out of the gates like a Derby Lane Greyhound and run away with this thing. The Braves are gonna be 8 games back before they know what hit them.105-57

  9. NatsLady - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    The news out of Viera is relentlessly positive: Davey is tanned and fit; Garcia is undiscovered greatness; Strasburg has come to terms with The Shutdown; Ramos is near 100%; and so it goes…If ya don't like it, you can read Red Sox or Brewers' blogs (drama in the bullpen already and first baseman out for the season, respectively). Good news is no news, and no news is good news!

  10. NatsLady - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Oh, and Matt Cain vs. Clayton Kershaw in the Opening Day matchup on the West Coast. That should be a terrific match-up. Gotta hope those two teams wear each other out.As for the PECOTA projection of 88-wins, I don't believe it either, but PECOTA did also project the Nats to win the Division. The Nats and Atlanta will probably wear each other out also, and I foresee dueling to a tie. The Fillies and Mutts could win a few games, and everyone will beat down the Fish (good!!!, I HATE the Fish). We match up against the AL Central this year, generally considered the weakest division in baseball. However, Cleveland could give us more trouble than expected, with Francona there (not a fan) and some newly acquired pieces. The White Sox always do better than expected (or have, for seven years). They have some magic formula–seriously–for keeping their pitchers healthy. KC is making a try, and the Tigers have that great line-up. So we can beat up on the poor Twins.

  11. TimDz - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Maybe Strasburg came to grips with the shutdown after watching film of his final few starts in August and September ….He was pitching on fumes at that point. I was at the final game he started …he was done and needed to be shut down…

  12. MicheleS - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Mark.. love the interviews. Also.. you got Jordan to talk !!! Just amazing.SJM.. on your personal catcher comments. It used to drive me nuts with Greg Maddox. There were a couple of catchers that got free rides because of him. Henry Blanco was one. There was another one on the Braves as well.

  13. NatsLady - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    BigCat–I'd agree except that, except for the Marlins and Mets (9 games), there are no bad teams in April. The other 16 games are against the Reds (7 games), the Cards (3 home games, with LOTS of motivation!!!), the White Sox and Atlanta. I'll be happy to come out of April over .500 and healthy.

  14. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Take 2 out of three, or 3 out of four, every series.Win every series, or at worst split the ones on the road.

  15. Rabbit34 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Is anyone concerned about Philadelphia? If not, maybe they are good enough to help against Atlanta?

  16. Section 222 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Take 2 out of three, or 3 out of four, every series.Win every series, or at worst split the ones on the road.Absolutely. That's what they consistently did last year, after coming out of the gate 14-4. I still like dividing the season into 18 game sets like the O's guys on MASN talked about last year. There are 9 sets. Go just 10-8 in each one, and that's a 90 win season, pretty much guaranteeing the playoffs. 11-7, you've won 99 games and almost certainly win the NL East. Very doable for this team. 12-6, we're getting into historic range — 108 wins.Last year in the nine 18 game sets, we won the following number of games: 14, 8, 10, 10, 11, 12, 12, 12, 9. We had a hot start, followed by a little dropoff (but still averaged 11 wins over the first two sets), and then a remarkably consistent run of 10-12 wins in each set up until the end of the season coast. In the 9 sets, we were at .500 or below only twice. I'll take a duplicate of that please. Another way to look at it is that in each 18 game set, 3 guys in our rotation start 4 games, and the other two start 3. To win 99 games, we just have to win 3 games for one starter, and 2 for the rest of them. That doesn't seem like such a tall order.Slow and steady wins the pennant race.

  17. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Doc said… And further, a guy named Lindburgh representing Baseball Prospectus backed up the projected 88 wins in '13 by the Nats by saying, "…..we looked at their previous years, and thought that 88 wins was about right…". Really, Mr. Lindburgh?___________________________________As NatsLady said, PECOTA has the Nats at 88-74 in 1st place and the Barves in 2nd at 82-80.It's a head scratcher when you think about what you project the starters Win totals at.

  18. Anna Peregrina - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    By the way, it's now officially less than six weeks till Opening Day.

  19. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Seamhead & 222: exactly right! It's a long season and we just have to win more series than we lose and try to avoid a long losing streak. With the starting pitching we have that should be possible. Your Ace was usually defined as the guy who could stop a losing streak. Well, step right up Mr. Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Detwiler and hell Haren has more experience than all of them. Just can't see this club losing more than two in a row although we all know it will probably happen. If 10-8 gets us 90 wins my U. of Md. math tells me 11-7 gets us to ….. wait, still using fingers and toes…… hold on….. trying to look at other papers……OK 102!!! is that right???

  20. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Rabbit34 said… Is anyone concerned about Philadelphia? If not, maybe they are good enough to help against Atlanta? February 19, 2013 8:34 AM _________________________________You can't overlook Phila and neither can Atlanta. If the Nats do what they are capable of doing it doesn't matter what the others do. Win 96+ and take the NL East.The Nats last year had to overcome the Stras shutdown, over 200 games by star players sidelined by injuries, and very little offensive production the entire season in the 7th and 8th spots in the line-up.The key is Nats health.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    sjm 308 ….uh… 9 times 11 = 99. Maryland must teach some funny math.

  22. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    NatsJack, thinking the same 99-63

  23. Teddy Rochlis - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    It would be 99 because there are 9 sets of 18 games and increasing the win total per set by 1 increases the overall record by 9 games to a total of 99 wins

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I thought sjm308 was joking and used some funny math. We all know that Terp education is good but then.again we're old.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Fuzzy math not funny math.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Hows about PECOTA on Bryce. More power and lowered him to a .324 OBP.Age 19 to 20 season is a big step in experience and I have Bryce in the MVP discussion if he bats 3rd.

  27. NCNatsie - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Re the PECOTA projections, I do not believe 88 games will win the NL East. I think it will probably get you third.

  28. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Rabbit, the Filthies are looking very good in some respects and not so good in others. Chase Utley looks to be in better shape then he has in the last three years. Ryan Howard reported to camp in very good condition. They have a very potent, and dangerous, lineup and their pitching is good enough to be a royal pain in the asterisk. They feel, [their claim, not mine], that they have the best bullpen in the league. But they also have serious problems at third base, and even bigger problems in the outfield. They will probably use the fact that they start the first 25 games without Carlos Ruiz as an excuse for a crappy start. It remains to be seen if Chooch can hit as effectively without the use of banned substances. They have their own version of Tyler Moore in Darron Ruf in that he crushes the snot out of the ball, but doesn't really have a position. He looks "Ruf" in RF, but his true position, first base, is blocked by Howard. They will be a thorn in the patooie for both the Nats and Braves, but will not be a serious threat to win the division.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Hows about PECOTA on Bryce. More power and lowered him to a .324 OBP.+++++++++++++++I'll take the over on that bet!

  30. Doc - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Ditto me, MCNatsie!There's funny math, fuzzy math, and PECOTA math—none of which add up. 88 wins, my @##!Physicists say that in a different solar system the math might be different–wonder what planet Baseball Prospectus and their nerdmetric Lindburgh are on???? LOL

  31. Joe Seamhead - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    As to Strasburg, I see this season as really his closest chance to have a "normal" season at the ML level. His first one was a total circus until he got hurt. His second one was washout, and last year was the shutdown fiasco. This year,I think that there will still be some trepidation as to his workload, but he will be The Ace of the staff. I am so looking forward to watching him this year! We have a 21 game plan, usually get to a total of 30-35 games, but will seriously consider his starts for the additional games that we get to.

  32. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Nats jack Just trying for a chuckle this am

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Ghost, I'm with you on Bryce. People just don't realize how driven this man-child is. You think Trout had a unbelievable 20 year old season, just wait till you see the numbers Bryce puts up batting 3rd, health permitting.

  34. Eugene Galvin - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter