Stephen Strasburg’s debut was of pretty good length. He went 7 innings and probably could have finished it out, but 7 innings was enough for most of us to realize that he’s the real deal. But if you’re banking on seeing Strasburg at least pitch until the 7th every five days, you probably need to stop banking on it right about…..now.
That’s because the Washington Nationals plan to make a deliberate effort to save that golden arm for the future by essentially shutting him down after the All Star break.
While the Nationals will rely on Strasburg for now, they will rest him often after the all-star break.
“There will be a point where we just shut him down for a while or really minimize his innings,” Riggleman said. “We want him to pitch in September, so some of that shutdown may be before September.”
If the Nationals remain in contention deep into the year, shutting down Strasburg will present a welcome quandary. So far this year, he has pitched 55 1/3 innings in the minor leagues and seven in the majors. The Nationals will shut him down for the season once he reaches 160 innings, minors and majors combined, even if it means sitting their best pitcher in a playoff race.
“That would be very hard,” Riggleman said. “I hope we have to make that decision. That would be tough, but we want to make sure this young man is pitching for years to come.”
Luckily for Riggleman, he won’t have to make that decision. But it’s good to see that Riggleman is dead set on his hope for the future, even if he probably won’t be around for the payoff. Way to stay the course, Jim.
Strasburg calls major league debut ‘a total blast‘ (Washington Post)
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