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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg, effective immediately

Declinin’ numbers at an even rate
Tech it up, tech it up
Buddy gonna shut you down

The Stephen Strasburg shutdown was previously believed to be after one more start, but plans seem to have changed. Davey Johnson announced to reporters (such as Byron Kerr) Saturday morning that Strasburg is done for the season, effective immediately.

Strasburg, 24, ends the season 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 197 strikeouts in 159 1/3 innings pitched.

The Nationals have been put in a tenuous position. At 85-53, they sport the best record in the majors and Strasburg is among the most dominant pitchers in the league. He is also, of course, in his first full season since recovering from Tommy John surgery. So Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo have been forced to balance success in 2012 with the future of the franchise’s ace. Their decision now is to protect the future of Strasburg and move forward with a still-solid rotation of Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and either Chien-Ming Wang or John Lannan.

Repoz Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:18 PM | 234 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nats

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   1. sinicalypse Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4230189)
get your head in the game, son! the natinals can't possibly let you think that you're bad!
   2. Esoteric Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4230190)
He didn't look good last night at all. As I said in the game thread: shut him down now. Glad they did, hope there isn't some undisclosed injury or something.

And it's going to be Lannan moving forward, not Chien-Ming Wang. Lannan has clearly earned it, Wang hasn't.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4230193)
A silly decision, backed by no evidence, other than "if he's not pitching, he can't get hurt," but that applied in April as it does now.

Next on the agenda: Tell Strasburg not to get out of bed in the morning.
   4. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4230194)
Absurd.
   5. McCoy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4230195)
Make sure they also tell him not to dream of spiders.

At the game yesterday and Strasburg was getting his pitches hit HARD.
   6. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4230197)
If the Nats had a one game lead it would be a much bigger deal. They can afford to use Lannan with the cushion they have, and in the postseason, he is strictly a bullpen pitcher.

He did look terrible last night, although I hesitate to say it's because of his workload.
   7. tshipman Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4230198)
He didn't look good last night at all.


At the game yesterday and Strasburg was getting his pitches hit HARD.


I'm sure this has something to do with the decision.

1st half: 2.82 ERA, 11.6 K/9, 4.57 SO/BB
2nd half: 3.73 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 3.45 SO/BB

   8. tfbg9 Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4230204)
Never mind...
   9. depletion Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4230205)
Operation shutdown.
I suppose they would have a few more losses on their record if they had done this, but why not just pull him after 4 or 5 innings each start and run him for the whole season. They could have designated one of the other pitchers as the 5 through 8 inning pitcher for Strasburg, Lannan perhaps. I don't doubt they thought through this, but I wonder how valuable the last roster spot is to have convinced them not to do this.
   10. Steve Treder Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4230216)
I suppose they would have a few more losses on their record if they had done this, but why not just pull him after 4 or 5 innings each start and run him for the whole season.

Exactly. A young pitcher needs to be trained to endure the duration of the major league season, as well as the number of innings/pitches. One has to respect the Nationals' intentions and their alacrity, but this has to be the most crude and clumsy manner of protecting Strasburg they could execute.
   11. booond Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4230222)
If he's tired or hurt then this makes sense. If his head's a mess then how is he helped by not pitching?
   12. PreservedFish Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4230225)
-
   13. rr Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4230228)
Like I said, I pretty much disagree with this, but I can also see going along with Rizzo here.

I do think it gives the Reds a slightly better shot to make the WS, so I like it strictly as a fanboy.
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4230231)
That 3.45 K/W is still pretty good.

Maybe someone can explain why he can't work out of the bullpen at least in the postseason? No more than once every 2 games, in very high leverage situations? What could possibly be wrong with that?
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4230234)
The idea that he looked terrible last night, or has not done as well in the second half, and therefore that's why the Nats did this (or provides justification for doing this) is bizarre since the Nats have been talking about this for months.

Did they not protect Strasburg after drafting him? And he got hurt anyway.
   16. bobm Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4230235)
From BB-REF PI, here are career total IP through 2011 for all pitchers since 1961 who, at age 23, pitched 200+ innings with a minimum 120 ERA+

                                                 
Rk             Player     IP From   To   Age ERA+
1         Greg Maddux 5008.1 1986 2008 20-42  132
2       Bert Blyleven 4970.0 1970 1992 19-41  118
3       Roger Clemens 4916.2 1984 2007 21-44  143
4          Tom Seaver 4783.0 1967 1986 22-41  127
5          Tommy John 4710.1 1963 1989 20-46  111
6            Jim Kaat 4475.1 1961 1983 22-44  109
7        Frank Tanana 4188.1 1973 1993 19-39  106
8        Mike Mussina 3562.2 1991 2008 22-39  123
9    Dennis Eckersley 3285.2 1975 1998 20-43  116
10    Mel Stottlemyre 2661.1 1964 1974 22-32  112
11       Kevin Appier 2595.1 1989 2004 21-36  121
12    Bret Saberhagen 2562.2 1984 2001 20-37  126
13       Stan Bahnsen 2529.0 1966 1982 21-37   97
14    John Candelaria 2525.2 1975 1993 21-39  114
15         Andy Benes 2505.1 1989 2002 21-34  104
16       Mark Buehrle 2476.2 2000 2011 21-32  120
17     Scott Erickson 2360.2 1990 2006 22-38   98
18         Barry Zito 2252.0 2000 2011 22-33  111
19      Greg Swindell 2233.1 1986 2002 21-37  107
20   Andy Messersmith 2230.1 1968 1979 22-33  121
21         John Denny 2148.2 1974 1986 21-33  105
22        Dean Chance 2147.1 1961 1971 20-30  119
23          Dan Petry 2080.1 1979 1991 20-32  102
24      Danny Jackson 2072.2 1983 1997 21-35  100
25      Ryan Dempster 2042.2 1998 2011 21-34   97
Rk             Player     IP From   To   Age ERA+
26     Dick Ellsworth 1976.2 1961 1971 21-31  100
27    Carlos Zambrano 1826.2 2001 2011 20-30  122
28        Jim Maloney 1785.1 1961 1971 21-31  117
29     Alex Fernandez 1760.1 1990 2000 20-30  115
30     Wilson Alvarez 1747.2 1989 2005 19-35  112
31         Jim Abbott 1674.0 1989 1999 21-31   99
32        Steve Avery 1554.2 1990 2003 20-33  100
33        Jim Merritt 1483.0 1965 1975 21-31   99
34    Felix Hernandez 1388.1 2005 2011 19-25  128
35        Mark Mulder 1314.0 2000 2008 22-30  106
36   Dontrelle Willis 1221.2 2003 2011 21-29  101
37       Bill Travers 1120.2 1974 1983 21-30   94
38           Jim Nash 1107.1 1966 1972 21-27   97
39       Scott Kazmir 1022.0 2004 2011 20-27  105
40   Chad Billingsley 1013.2 2006 2011 21-26  111
41    Clayton Kershaw  716.1 2008 2011 20-23  135
42      Jair Jurrjens  702.1 2007 2011 21-25  119
43     Craig McMurtry  667.2 1983 1995 23-35   96


Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1961 to 2011, For players in the saved report : (For single seasons, From 1961 to 2011, For age 23, (requiring earned_run_avg_plus?120 and At least 200 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest Innings Pitched: Results), sorted by greatest Innings Pitched
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/8/2012.
   17. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4230236)
Exactly. A young pitcher needs to be trained to endure the duration of the major league season, as well as the number of innings/pitches. One has to respect the Nationals' intentions and their alacrity, but this has to be the most crude and clumsy manner of protecting Strasburg they could execute.


Signed: Not a trained medical expert.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4230237)
The idea that he looked terrible last night, or has not done as well in the second half, and therefore that's why the Nats did this (or provides justification for doing this) is bizarre since the Nats have been talking about this for months.


And they had basically said it would be two starts and that was it, but then after last nights game comes this edict..... Yes, it's totally unbelievable to think that his recent performance had anything to do with this.......
   19. tshipman Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4230242)
The idea that he looked terrible last night, or has not done as well in the second half, and therefore that's why the Nats did this (or provides justification for doing this) is bizarre since the Nats have been talking about this for months.


Didn't mean to imply that. Was providing those numbers for context on why they might have shut him down one start earlier than thought before.

I do think that he's not as effective as he was at the start of the year (which could be for a variety of reasons).

I suppose they would have a few more losses on their record if they had done this, but why not just pull him after 4 or 5 innings each start and run him for the whole season.


He's only averaged 5 and 2/3 innings per start. He's hardly been extended deep into games (edit: which has probably helped his performance).
   20. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4230259)
Fortunately, their other 4 regular starters still leave them pretty well stacked for the postseason.
   21. Jose Canusee Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4230260)
PS- it's "tach it up" like revving the engine before a start.
   22. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4230270)
PS- it's "tach it up" like revving the engine before a start.

I assume Repoz knows this and is making a pun. I do not understand this pun.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4230271)
I don't know why they didn't just disable him for 3 weeks in mid-season with a phantom injury.

He could have tuned back up in the minors, and be ready to go for Sept. and the playoffs.
   24. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4230273)
Since they were bound and determined to keep his innings to a certain level ...

On August 1st they had the division lead and the 2nd-best record in the NL. Wouldn't it have been a more efficient idea to sideline him then and bring him back in mid-September? You can stretch him back out with two or three late-season starts and then he's playoff-ready (assuming you made it). This plan would've reduced their chances of winning the division, but it's unlikely they'll go far in the playoffs without him.

This could've been executed with more foresight. If I were a Nationals fan, I'd be getting institutionalized about right now.
   25. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4230274)
Good lord, people. The team has said multiple times that this was their specific plan. They don't think shutting him down early and bringing him back for the late season/postseason is an effective way of protecting his arm. Argue about whether it's dumb all you want, but stop with the "Why didn't they think of this instead?" routine. It was thought of and discarded.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4230276)
On August 1st they had the division lead and the 2nd-best record in the NL. Wouldn't it have been a more efficient idea to sideline him then and bring him back in mid-September? You can stretch him back out with two or three late-season starts and then he's playoff-ready (assuming you made it). This plan would've reduced their chances of winning the division, but it's unlikely they'll go far in the playoffs without him.

This could've been executed with more foresight. If I were a Nationals fan, I'd be getting institutionalized about right now.


The way the Nationals looked at it, and their theory is that once you have been shut down, it's for the season. They specifically stated they felt shutting him down and restarting him would be just as bad. The theory is more than he has so many innings to pitch in a season, it's that he has so many innings to pitch, and then it's a good idea to shut him down for a full recovery to build up the strength/endurance/callouses(whatever you want to call it).

Ray's silly idea that they have no numbers to support it, ignores the fact that they have no numbers to oppose it either.

edit: or what post 25 said.
   27. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4230280)
The Nationals have no real idea the extent to which shutting him down now will impact his future. None. They'd be just as well off consulting the astrology tables, reading Strasburg's palm before his starts, or evaluating the entrails of a billy goat.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4230282)
Good lord, people. The team has said multiple times that this was their specific plan. They don't think shutting him down early and bringing him back for the late season/postseason is an effective way of protecting his arm. Argue about whether it's dumb all you want, but stop with the "Why didn't they think of this instead?" routine. It was thought of and discarded.

Yes, heaven help the thought that the organization that's brought the Nats to this point might have some idea of what they're doing. From the tone of most of these comments, you might not realize that the people writing them were actually fans of other teams rather than of the Nats, and that the whining about the shutdown has been almost exclusively been heard outside the Washington area, but I suppose Rizzo should be grateful anyway for these oh-so-helpful concerns.
   29. Esoteric Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4230285)
Co-sign with #25 and #28. Also, I understood tshipman's original #7 post the way he later clarified that he meant it: that Strasburg HAS been looking wobbly lately, and given that the shutdown was imminent and that there was only one road game left anyway, why take chances? Lannan's been rock-solid in his games up here so far, might as well just bring him in earlier.

Andy tangentially hits on a point that has amused me greatly during this whole ginned-up "Strasburg Shutdown" controversy, namely the fact that nearly everyone in the DC area, from fans to the media (with, again, the exception of our redoubtably retarded sportstalk radio idiots) is unanimous in their approval of Operation Shutdown...whereas everyone else in the country seems to be unanimous in the other direction. With the exception of orthopedic surgeons and the expert medical community, who are openly thrilled with the idea. But hey, what value is their opinion worth?
   30. DA Baracus Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4230286)
A silly decision, backed by no evidence, other than "if he's not pitching, he can't get hurt," but that applied in April as it does now.


There's not "no evidence." There's a small sample size, but they aren't just making #### up:

Nevertheless, Rizzo told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" last week that the Nationals looked at "the workload of 23-year-old pitchers in baseball history that have the stuff, and the arm, and the stress per pitch, that a Stephen Strasburg has." And what they learned, he said, was that "there's no pitcher that's gone from 44 innings pitched in one season, after Tommy John surgery, to 200 the next season, without injury down the road."

We did an informal study of our own after hearing this explanation, and found two pitchers who came close to meeting Rizzo's description. One was Josh Johnson, who had Tommy John surgery at 23 and pitched 209 innings at 25. The other was Kerry Wood, who had the surgery at 22 and then averaged 199 2/3 innings per season from ages 24-26. It's safe to say both had enough health issues afterward to match Rizzo's analysis.

Meanwhile, the Nationals also have an example on their own staff, Jordan Zimmermann. Had Tommy John surgery at 23, at almost the same point in the season as Strasburg. Threw 70 2/3 innings the next year (31 in the big leagues). Was shut down after 161 1/3 innings last year. Back on a "normal" track, and having a sensational season, this year.


-Link
   31. JJ1986 Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4230289)
From the tone of most of these comments, you might not realize that the people writing them were actually fans of other teams rather than of the Nats


But you're not a Nats fan either.
   32. Brian White Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4230300)
I don't know why they didn't just disable him for 3 weeks in mid-season with a phantom injury.

He could have tuned back up in the minors, and be ready to go for Sept. and the playoffs.


Or stick him in relief for a few months, and put him in the rotation at such a point when one start every five days for the rest of the season will leave him near his innings cap. We can call this the Kris Medlen plan.
   33. DA Baracus Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4230303)
I don't know why they didn't just disable him for 3 weeks in mid-season with a phantom injury.


Because they tried that with Zimmerman and he stunk when he came back.

#25 is spot on. Everything suggested has been considered by the Nationals.
   34. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4230304)
Cool idea, take a young pitcher coming back from injury and in the middle of the season change is warm-up routine and then change it back. What could go wrong?
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4230307)
So, you guys think it's not worth any extra risk to have one of the best pitchers in MLB available for the playoffs?

Wow. I think we need to remember the developing young players is a means, not an end.

If the Nationals develop Strasburg into the next Walter Johnson, and don't have any Pennants to show for it, they've failed.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4230308)
Cool idea, take a young pitcher coming back from injury and in the middle of the season change is warm-up routine and then change it back. What could go wrong?

So, whenever a young pitcher goes on the DL he should be immediately shut down for the season?
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4230309)
Andy tangentially hits on a point that has amused me greatly during this whole ginned-up "Strasburg Shutdown" controversy, namely the fact that nearly everyone in the DC area, from fans to the media (with, again, the exception of our redoubtably retarded sportstalk radio idiots) is unanimous in their approval of Operation Shutdown...whereas everyone else in the country seems to be unanimous in the other direction. With the exception of orthopedic surgeons and the expert medical community, who are openly thrilled with the idea. But hey, what value is their opinion worth?
It's not "ginned-up." Shutting down your healthy ace pitcher in the middle of a pennant drive is something that no baseball team has ever done before. It was going to be a controversy no matter what. Tons of people in and around baseball disagree with the Nats' decision.

Further, the fact that Nationals fans almost universally like the idea and non-Nats fans don't could really be read either way. Maybe Nats fans are closer to the team, know more about Rizzo, and are better positioned to judge. On the other hand, maybe fanboy and fangirl love for the front office is clouding their judgment, and people who aren't Nats fans have a better perspective. I'd guess that the both are true, and it's best not to ignore the views of anyone based on their fandom.

I tend very strongly to the "no one has a ####### clue how to prevent pitcher injuries" side of the spectrum, which makes me highly skeptical of the future added value of this move. Of course, since I don't have a ####### clue how to prevent pitcher injuries, I can't dismiss the hypothesis that Rizzo and co do know something that I don't. All things considered, my experience as a fan is that you can't assume a winning team will keep winning, and I would tend toward wanting my front office to maximize reasonably certain present value over highly speculative future value.
   38. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4230313)
Flags fly forever.
   39. Downtown Bookie Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4230314)
I was mostly ambivalent regarding the Nationals handling of Strasburg; but having read the arguments against shutting him down, which were so perfectly capsulized in Post 27, I now feel confident that Washington has made the right decision.

DB
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4230315)
I'm sure this has been addressed, but I couldn't find it in a quick googling:

What is the Nationals' reasoning behind the timing of Strasburg's season? That is, why did they have him start gearing up for the season in March to pitch MLB games in April, if they were going to shut him down in September? Could they have let him rest an extra six weeks this spring, then ramped his prep up in April to debut in May, in order to keep Strasburg under his innings limit through October?
   41. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4230317)
I admire the hell out of Rizzo and the Nats for making this decision.

I also think it is based on flimsy evidence and unlikely to meaningfully reduce the likelihood of future injury for Stradburg.
   42. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4230318)
Can you imagine the ensuing shitstorm if the Nationals falter in the playoffs and Strasburg sustains a serious injury next season?

I'm not saying anything about the likelihood of that outcome. I have mixed feelings about the shutdown, and I certainly don't wish injury on any player. I'm simply saying that the media would have a field day.
   43. DA Baracus Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4230319)
So, you guys think it's not worth any extra risk to have one of the best pitchers in MLB available for the playoffs?


Not if he is ineffective. Then he's a liability, not an asset. The Nationals are deep enough that this won't derail them. They're still a very good team.
   44. depletion Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4230321)
The drama of this situation is that a lot of great players never get to play in the World Series. Heck, a few teams almost never get to play in the World Series. In other words, #38.
   45. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4230322)
Could they have let him rest an extra six weeks this spring, then ramped his prep up in April to debut in May, in order to keep him under his innings limit through October?


I have been wondering about this all season. The only explanation I can fathom is that Rizzo was concerned that the Nationals wouldn't make the playoffs and Strasburg's inning count would be limited to 130-140. That would limit his "development" by another season assuming that the Nationals will only increasing his innings by 30 or so a year. e.g. Instead of throwing 190 innings next year, he would only be able to throw 160 next year. So assuming that the Rizzo's assumed window is 2013-2015, the Nationals lose more Strasburg innings in the window.
   46.   Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4230323)
I admire the hell out of Rizzo and the Nats for making this decision.

I also think it is based on flimsy evidence and unlikely to meaningfully reduce the likelihood of future injury for Stradburg.


Agreed on both counts.
   47. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4230326)
I have been wondering about this all season. The only explanation I can fathom is that Rizzo was concerned that the Nationals wouldn't make the playoffs and Strasburg's inning count would be limited to 130-140. That would limit his "development" by another season assuming that the Nationals will only increasing his innings by 30 or so a year. e.g. Instead of throwing 190 innings next year, he would only be able to throw 160 next year. So assuming that the Rizzo's assumed window is 2013-2015, the Nationals lose more Strasburg innings in the window.


If this happened would Strasburg have been allowed to pitch in the Arizona Fall League to make up the difference or is tht restricted to minor leaguers?
   48. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4230331)
The Nationals have no real idea the extent to which shutting him down now will impact his future. None. They'd be just as well off consulting the astrology tables, reading Strasburg's palm before his starts, or evaluating the entrails of a billy goat.


There is no evidence that throwing more pitches increases wear on the arm and the risk of injury?

It's unreasonable to think that a weary pitcher having trouble throwing in their normal and best motion might put more stress on their arm?

Flags fly forever.


So you'd rather have been a marlins fan than a braves fan the last 20 years?
   49. bookbook Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4230332)
#35. I'm sorry, but the goal of baseball teams is to make money, not actually to win pennants only. If he Nationals gave up one WS to have Walter Johnson for the next decade it's hard to argue that they'd be worse off.

As is, they've hurt their chances this year a little bit in order to decrease the chance of injuring their franchise cornerstone ace. Have they decreased that chance by a little, a lot, or not at all? That's debatable. But the trade off may make good economic and championship sense over the years to come.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4230335)
From the tone of most of these comments, you might not realize that the people writing them were actually fans of other teams rather than of the Nats

But you're not a Nats fan either.


I realize that some people restrict their fanhood to only one team, but the Nats are the only NL team I've ever rooted for. And I would've said the same thing if the pitcher in question had been a Yankee.
   51. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4230339)
The only explanation I can fathom is that Rizzo was concerned that the Nationals wouldn't make the playoffs and Strasburg's inning count would be limited to 130-140. That would limit his "development" by another season assuming that the Nationals will only increasing his innings by 30 or so a year. e.g. Instead of throwing 190 innings next year, he would only be able to throw 160 next year. So assuming that the Rizzo's assumed window is 2013-2015, the Nationals lose more Strasburg innings in the window.

This is probably it. Note that the Braves basically announced a week or so ago that they started Medlen in the bullpen for the exact purpose of keeping his innings down so that he would be available as a starter for the playoffs. Now, that might be CYA, of course.

   52. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4230343)
The only explanation I can fathom is that Rizzo was concerned that the Nationals wouldn't make the playoffs and Strasburg's inning count would be limited to 130-140. That would limit his "development" by another season assuming that the Nationals will only increasing his innings by 30 or so a year. e.g. Instead of throwing 190 innings next year, he would only be able to throw 160 next year. So assuming that the Rizzo's assumed window is 2013-2015, the Nationals lose more Strasburg innings in the window.


Remember, at the beginning of this year nobody was picking the Nats to win the division. A handful of us thought they had a shot at the 2nd wildcard, but basically everything has gone right this year: Strasburg, Zimmerman, Gonzalez and Jackson have been at the top of their game, Werth and Laroche bounced back, Bryce Harper's been the 2nd best 19 year old in baseball history, the bullpen's been great, Espinosa and Desmond have hit their potential...literally everything has gone right, and even given that I'd rather be a fan of a time that makes plans to keep its players healthy and then sticks to them, rather than a team which changes its mind.
   53. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4230344)
The Nationals have no real idea the extent to which shutting him down now will impact his future. None. They'd be just as well off consulting the astrology tables, reading Strasburg's palm before his starts, or evaluating the entrails of a billy goat.

You yourself have posted excerpts from Dr. Andrews where he states that he has recommended this course of action. Yes, it's his opinion but are you claiming that your opinion holds more weight? Or that "common sense" should outweigh the pre-eminent expert in the field?
   54. DA Baracus Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4230349)
This is probably it. Note that the Braves basically announced a week or so ago that they started Medlen in the bullpen for the exact purpose of keeping his innings down so that he would be available as a starter for the playoffs. Now, that might be CYA, of course.


For the Braves it was CYA. They started Medlen because they had to. They put Jurrjens back into the rotation first despite him sucking in the minors and then tried to get Dempster.
   55. Kurt Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4230350)
Flags fly forever.

That argument would have more weight in this were 1948, and the Nationals were fighting for a World Series berth.

As it is, they're likely to be in an eight team playoff, with a chance of winning the Series that's not massively higher than 12.5%. I think they're better off trying to get into as many of those eight team playoffs as they can.

What is the Nationals' reasoning behind the timing of Strasburg's season? That is, why did they have him start gearing up for the season in March to pitch MLB games in April, if they were going to shut him down in September? Could they have let him rest an extra six weeks this spring, then ramped his prep up in April to debut in May, in order to keep Strasburg under his innings limit through October?

In March, nobody expected this team to have an October.
   56. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4230352)
I'm sure this has been addressed, but I couldn't find it in a quick googling:

What is the Nationals' reasoning behind the timing of Strasburg's season? That is, why did they have him start gearing up for the season in March to pitch MLB games in April, if they were going to shut him down in September? Could they have let him rest an extra six weeks this spring, then ramped his prep up in April to debut in May, in order to keep Strasburg under his innings limit through October?


Were they serious contenders coming into the season? I imagine the thought was that he would be eligible to be shut down right around the time of the roster expansion happening so that they can have a try out for anyone who was having an outstanding minor league season.
   57. Zach Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4230355)
I'd rather be a fan of a time that makes plans to keep its players healthy and then sticks to them, rather than a team which changes its mind.

They don't have a plan to keep their players healthy. They have a plan to avoid blame for a future injury, whose odds are in no measurable way changed by this action.

This is the same thing as managers who insist they're managing "by the book" when bunts and outs on the basepath are eating them alive. If you incur significant costs without knowing the odds of success, you're just a sucker.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4230358)
#35. I'm sorry, but the goal of baseball teams is to make money, not actually to win pennants only. If he Nationals gave up one WS to have Walter Johnson for the next decade it's hard to argue that they'd be worse off.


They don't get him for the next decade, they get him for 4 more years. His agent is Boras.
   59. Zach Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4230360)
Nevertheless, Rizzo told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" last week that the Nationals looked at "the workload of 23-year-old pitchers in baseball history that have the stuff, and the arm, and the stress per pitch, that a Stephen Strasburg has." And what they learned, he said, was that "there's no pitcher that's gone from 44 innings pitched in one season, after Tommy John surgery, to 200 the next season, without injury down the road."


In honor of this inspired piece of sabermetric research, I would like to point out that the record of 19 year old right fielders in the World Series includes the sobering tale of Mickey Mantle. So be sure and sit Harper, too. Make him sit it out in a hyperbaric chamber located inside a pyramid, just to be safe.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4230362)
They don't have a plan to keep their players healthy. They have a plan to avoid blame for a future injury, whose odds are in no measurable way changed by this action.

This is the same thing as managers who insist they're managing "by the book" when bunts and outs on the basepath are eating them alive. If you incur significant costs without knowing the odds of success, you're just a sucker.


Exactly. This screams CYA.

Oh, Dr. Andrews advice also screams CYA. What is he going to do? Say "Go ahead pitch him 220 innings", and then have the team blame him for injury?
   61. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4230365)
They don't have a plan to keep their players healthy. They have a plan to avoid blame for a future injury, whose odds are in no measurable way changed by this action.


They do have a plan to keep their players healthy. They believe the odds are measurably changed by the actions they are taking.
'
They may be wrong, but they know more about it than an endless parade of internet doofuses, and I am glad to be a fan of a team that is taking a consistent and focused approach to injury rehabilitation, rather than guessing with each player and hoping for the best.
   62. Danny Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4230370)
They don't have a plan to keep their players healthy. They have a plan to avoid blame for a future injury, whose odds are in no measurable way changed by this action.

This is the same thing as managers who insist they're managing "by the book" when bunts and outs on the basepath are eating them alive. If you incur significant costs without knowing the odds of success, you're just a sucker.

These seem like opposite situations.

Managers act conventionally because no one's going to blame them for doing what everyone else does. The Nats are doing something no one else does that no one would blame them for not doing.
   63. Zach Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4230371)
but they know more about it than an endless parade of internet doofuses

Correction. They know *less* about it than an endless parade of internet doofuses, because this is a well studied area, and none of the studies ever produce anything. The internet doofuses know this, the team ignores it.
   64. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4230372)
Correction. They know *less* about it than an endless parade of internet doofuses, because this is a well studied area, and none of the studies ever produce anything. The internet doofuses know this, the team ignores it.


The studies pick and choose from a variety of players in a variety of circumstances. The Nats are treating each player the same way.

I mean, good luck with your internet doofus-ry and everything. But I intend to give this approach a chance.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4230373)
I'm sorry, but the goal of baseball teams is to make money, not actually to win pennants only.
The Royals have been making money hand over fist for nearly two decades. Is that supposed to make their fans happy?

Fans want to win. The only reasonable judgment of this decision concerns the fans' bottom line - winning.
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4230377)
What is the Nationals' reasoning behind the timing of Strasburg's season? That is, why did they have him start gearing up for the season in March to pitch MLB games in April, if they were going to shut him down in September? Could they have let him rest an extra six weeks this spring, then ramped his prep up in April to debut in May, in order to keep Strasburg under his innings limit through October?

In March, nobody expected this team to have an October.
Not true. They projected as a winning team, which in the NL means they had at least a 1-in-4 shot at making the playoffs.
   67. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4230379)
Oh, Dr. Andrews advice also screams CYA. What is he going to do? Say "Go ahead pitch him 220 innings", and then have the team blame him for injury?

Yes, he is going to say that, if he believes it. He's Dr. F'n Andrews. The team does not want him to give them a CYA answer. They pay him for his opinion. If he says that his opinion is that 220 innings will not hurt the pitcher, he is going to say that. He's going to add in caveats about unknowns, estimates, etc., of course. But the team is paying him to tell them what he thinks is best.

I mean, seriously, have you ever worked with a consultant before? This is what they do. The team is not interested in paying him to say "I don't have any idea, could be today, could be in 2016." when he really thinks that the guy could pitch 220 innings.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4230380)
Yes, he is going to say that, if he believes it. He's Dr. F'n Andrews. The team does not want him to give them a CYA answer. They pay him for his opinion. If he says that his opinion is that 220 innings will not hurt the pitcher, he is going to say that.
Perhaps, but from a medical perspective, it's a near-certainty that throwing 220 innings will hurt the pitcher. So will throwing 50 innings. Pitching is bad for your arm.

The question is how bad are those extra 40 innings, and what are the benefits of not throwing the innings compared to the costs to the team as structured? Dr. Andrews can only address the first question - there will be benefits of some sort. Quantifying them and comparing them to the present projected value of the team with Strasburg is a question for your baseball people, not for doctors.
   69. Zach Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4230381)
I mean, seriously, have you ever worked with a consultant before?

You mean the kind of consultant that undermines the boss's highly publicised and highly controversial plans on little hard evidence? Maybe you've worked with that kind of consultant once, but I doubt you've done it twice. At least, not the same consultant.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4230385)
I'd rather be a fan of a time that makes plans to keep its players healthy and then sticks to them, rather than a team which changes its mind.


I'd rather be a fan of a team that isn't so married to "the plan" that they can't recognize the need to adapt when circumstances change. Unfortunately, I'm a fan of the team that decided hiring the corpse of Bobby Valentine to skipper the club was a swell idea.

   71. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4230386)
The question is how bad are those extra 40 innings, and what are the benefits of not throwing the innings compared to the costs to the team as structured? Dr. Andrews can only address the first question - there will be benefits of some sort. Quantifying them and comparing them to the present projected value of the team with Strasburg is a question for your baseball people, not for doctors.

Completely true. My point is that Dr. Andrews has said that he's recommending the Nationals' course of action*. The team has to decide whether to follow that advice or go for it in 2012. But to say that they're guessing or that they have no evidence, or whatever is not true. Especially when weighed against the fact that there is truly no evidence the other way, either.

*I have only read SBB's quoting of Andrews from an earlier thread. Considering that it was posted in order to disprove the point, I admit that I may not have the full story there.
   72. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4230388)
For the Braves it was CYA. They started Medlen because they had to. They put Jurrjens back into the rotation first despite him sucking in the minors and then tried to get Dempster.


They started Medlen because they lost Beachy (TJ surgery), Jurrjens (to suck), Hanson (to shoulder/rotator cuff/suck) and Teheran (to the travails of young pitching "prospects.") The reference to trying to get Dempster isn't really valid, as they actually did get Maholm (again, because they've lost 3/5s of their starting rotation to something along the way.) The only starters currently going for the Braves who came out of ST with the Braves are Tim Hudson (solid), Mike Minor (putting together a hell of a second half) and Tommy Hanson (who is simply not good right now (and may very well be meat with the shoulder problems))
   73. DA Baracus Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4230392)
The reference to trying to get Dempster isn't really valid, as they actually did get Maholm


After they moved Medlen to the rotation. So what is your point exactly? They called Jurrjens up instead of going to Medlen, so their "saving him" explanation is BS. Do you dispute that?
   74. rr Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4230395)
I agree with MCOA in 37 and to an extent with SOSH in 70. I disagree with Operation Shutdown, but I see nothing at all unreasonable about saying, "Rizzo is a smart guy and has talked to the docs, so I will trust him."

I do object, however, to two arguments I have heard. One is "The Nats are primed for a long run at the top." 10 playoff teams help their odds of getting in, but nothing is certain in baseball and the large number of playoff teams also increases their chances of losing when and if they get there. The second is "They have a good rotation even without Strasburg." Sure, but so will most of the other playoff teams, and the guy that gets Strsaburg's innings does not have his gifts.
   75. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4230398)
They called Jurrjens up instead of going to Medlen, so their "saving him" explanation is BS. Do you dispute that?


I think they wanted to get a few good starts out of Jurrjens to try to generate some trade value for him - any trade value, really. He didn't help them out there.

I think they started Kris Medlen in the pen because they thought they were 10 deep in starters and felt Medlen out of the pen gave them more utility than a 9th or 10th starter.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4230404)
Yes, he is going to say that, if he believes it. He's Dr. F'n Andrews. The team does not want him to give them a CYA answer. They pay him for his opinion. If he says that his opinion is that 220 innings will not hurt the pitcher, he is going to say that. He's going to add in caveats about unknowns, estimates, etc., of course. But the team is paying him to tell them what he thinks is best.

I mean, seriously, have you ever worked with a consultant before? This is what they do. The team is not interested in paying him to say "I don't have any idea, could be today, could be in 2016." when he really thinks that the guy could pitch 220 innings.


First of all, Andrews is an expert on surgery, that doesn't mean he any particular expertise on what causes injury.

Second, you really must have never worked with consultants. At least 50% of the time they're hired to tell management what management has already decided. i.e. we didn't want to close the plant and move the jobs to China, but the consultants say we have to.

They will never openly contradict the guy that hired them, otherwise they don't get hired again.

And before you ask, I worked for a major consulting firm for 5 years, and have been on the client side of about half a dozen consulting engagements.
   77. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4230405)
this is a well studied area, and none of the studies ever produce anything.


As Bill James once said, the most suspect conclusion from a research study is a finding that there is no relationship between A and B. It could be that A and B are truly unrelated, or it could also be that A and B are related in any one of a number of different ways that the research failed to consider or account for.

-- MWE
   78. JJ1986 Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4230409)
As I see it, even if we 100% know that pitching 180 or 190 innings normally will cause injury and that pitching 160 or fewer innings won't, there's still room to find a place in between. Skip a start every three weeks. Have him go 3 innings a few times. That kind of thing just hasn't been done and so there's no way of knowing that it will still cause him injury.
   79. AROM Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4230410)
"Not true. They projected as a winning team, which in the NL means they had at least a 1-in-4 shot at making the playoffs."

In a 16 team league you'd expect 8 to have winning records. The NL right now has 7. 5 of them get to the playoffs.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 08, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4230411)
Second, you really must have never worked with consultants. At least 50% of the time they're hired to tell management what management has already decided. i.e. we didn't want to close the plant and move the jobs to China, but the consultants say we have to.

They will never openly contradict the guy that hired them, otherwise they don't get hired again.


That certainly speaks volumes about the dubious occupation of consultancy, and of companies who waste millions of dollars on them. Those boys could give the city government of Boss Tweed's New York a good run for their money when it comes to throwing money down a rathole.

And before you ask, I worked for a major consulting firm for 5 years, and have been on the client side of about half a dozen consulting engagements.

I wouldn't be bragging about it if I were you. OTOH if you're one of those consultants who speaks the truth to your clients rather than provides cover for spin, I'll gladly retract the implication.
   81. rfloh Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4230415)
Ah, BTF. Where everyone thinks that they all are experts on everything under the sun, as long as they can bullshit and argue well, including on things that they are clueless about.

Because one has worked for a major consulting firm, one knows what Andrews is expert in, and knows as well as Andrews about what causes (pitching) injuries. Hilarious. Hint, Andrews isn't just an expert on surgery. By making that claim, you're just demonstrating your ignorance.

Note, I don't necessarily agree with their shutting him down, though I understand their rationale for iit. If Strasburg were an Olympic athlete, with one most important competition once every 4 years to peak for, I would agree.
   82. rfloh Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4230417)
Ah, BTF. Where everyone thinks that they all are experts on everything under the sun, as long as they can bullshit and argue well, including on things that they are clueless about.

Because one has worked for a major consulting firm, one knows what Andrews is expert in, and knows as well as Andrews about what causes (pitching) injuries. Hilarious. Hint, Andrews isn't just an expert on surgery. By making that claim, you're just demonstrating your ignorance.

Note, I don't necessarily agree with their shutting him down, though I understand their rationale for iit. If Strasburg were an Olympic athlete, with one most important competition once every 4 years to peak for, I would agree.
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4230433)
I think we need to remember the developing young players is a means, not an end.


This post wins the thread. If you're holding one of the game's best pitchers out of the postseason, you have lost your way.
   84. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4230436)
First of all, Andrews is an expert on surgery, that doesn't mean he any particular expertise on what causes injury.


Then name a better expert on injuries leading to Tommy John surgery, and on re-injury after Tommy John surgery.

Thought so.

And you really think Andrews hasn't studied why his clients benefit from the surgery, and why re-injuries occur?

And finally you totally blew it when you made ridiculous assumptions about Andrew's motivations.

Andrews isn't a consultant, he's a surgeon. His primary income/job is fixing injured players, so he has less incentive to tell clients what they want to hear than a full time consultant. And what did he (and you) expect the Nationals wanted to hear? By telling them to treat Strasburg carefully, he's handcuffed the organization both operationally, and legally. When they asked for expert medical advice about Strasburg, ignoring that advice would likely void their insurance coverage in case of injury and and expose the team to clear legal liability.

If Andrews just wanted to make sure teams consulted him over other experts in the area so he could jack up his side income from consulting he is hugely motivated to tell the Nationals that there is no reason to impose any innings limit, that the "the studies aren't predictive enough t trust", etc, so that teams know that writing a check to Dr. Andrews will cover their butts on liabilities, keep their insurance in force, and let them do whatever they want.
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4230438)
But to say that they're guessing or that they have no evidence, or whatever is not true.


Yes, it is. They are guessing. They have no evidence.

If evidence is hard to come by because this kind of shutdown is unprecedented, that doesn't negate the fact that there is no evidence. They are pissing in the wind here. They have no evidence to tell them that an extra 25-50 innings is a significant risk factor, or heightens the risk more than any set of 25-50 innings would.

Especially when weighed against the fact that there is truly no evidence the other way, either.


Huh? Above you said that the idea that they had no evidence isn't true. Now here you say there is no evidence one way or the other. If there is no evidence one way or the other they have no evidence.
   86. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4230439)
I'd like to see them keep Jack Morris out of a postseason game. He would leap off the bench, knock out Edwin Jackson, and pitch a ten inning shutout. It just shows what a wuss Strasburg is. :)
   87. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4230444)
If you're holding your third best starter out of the postseason to start a 4th starter who has been almost as effective you understand the concept of weighting assumable risk by it's benefit.


FYP.

If Rizzo does not follow the medical advice he was given by medical experts the team consulted, and Strasburg gets hurt, it could cost the Nationals up to $100M. It would be the easiest court case Boras has ever filed on a clients behalf, and none of the Nationals insurers would have any obligation to cover a penny of the verdict. And that doesn't even count the cost of not having Strasburg pitch for the team the next few years, likely in the range of $20M-$40M each year Stephen misses.

Please explain how you, as Nats GM, would mitigate that risk enough to make it worthwhile pitching Strasburg in the playoffs, or trying one of your funky shut him down now and bring him back later or pitch him 3 innings per start ideas that the "experts" already ruled as too risky.

I thought so.
   88. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4230448)
and if strasburg came out next week and pitched into the 8th inning and came up lame afterward half the posters here would be panting to criticize

so go ahead and yammer but understand that the bulk of you would be arguing no matter the direction washington took

yes you would

   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4230457)
#88, example of another time anyone here has ever argued anything the slightest bit like that?
   90. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4230460)
Anyway, the dumb stupid Nats who are run by morons just won again, keeping them 7 games up in the division with the best record in baseball.
   91. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4230461)
Swing a dead marsupial and you'll bang into ten threads where people argue for the sake arguing.
   92. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4230462)
If the Nationals hadn't discussed this previously, and just came out today and announced that an injury-free Strasburg was being shut down not just for the rest of the regular season but for the postseason as well, would anyone think it was a good idea? My guess is that people would say it was a fine idea to have him skip the regular season, but idiocy to hold him out of the playoffs as well.
   93. Esoteric Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4230463)
I dunno, it seems pretty stupid to argue about it at this point. What's done is done. I happen to think it was the right decision, many here don't. Oh well.
   94. rfloh Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4230465)
"
88. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4230448)
and if strasburg came out next week and pitched into the 8th inning and came up lame afterward half the posters here would be panting to criticize

so go ahead and yammer but understand that the bulk of you would be arguing no matter the direction washington took

yes you would"

Yep. You've just summed up BTF.
   95. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4230468)
Yep. You've just summed up BTF.


Not BTF. The world.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4230480)

That certainly speaks volumes about the dubious occupation of consultancy, and of companies who waste millions of dollars on them. Those boys could give the city government of Boss Tweed's New York a good run for their money when it comes to throwing money down a rathole.


Never said otherwise.

I wouldn't be bragging about it if I were you. OTOH if you're one of those consultants who speaks the truth to your clients rather than provides cover for spin, I'll gladly retract the implication.

Not bragging. Just saying I've seen the reality. I was too junior to affect the recommendation. We did some good work; mostly on tactical stuff, but a lot of fluff.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4230482)
Because one has worked for a major consulting firm, one knows what Andrews is expert in, and knows as well as Andrews about what causes (pitching) injuries. Hilarious. Hint, Andrews isn't just an expert on surgery. By making that claim, you're just demonstrating your ignorance.

Unfortunately, I have a lot of personal experience with surgeons; 6th surgery in 4 years coming up in Oct.

Surgeons study one thing, surgery. Most won't even voice a firm opinion on what caused the problem.

You don't get to be the best surgeon by dabbling in bio-mechanics, or the theory of pitching. You get there by focusing singlemindedly, and operating. All. The. Time.
   98. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4230487)
#97, Snapper, I have an ongoing experience with a family member who had a scare that doctors initially thought was colon cancer, before for the most part settling on just an infection.

I can tell you that the team of doctors simply wouldn't operate before they were able to confirm what the problem was and understand just what they were dealing with.
   99. Howie Menckel Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4230488)
"Stephen Strasburg voiced his displeasure with being shut down on Saturday, stating, "It's something that I'm not happy about at all. That's not why I play the game."

"Strasburg also added, "I don't know if I'm ever going to accept it". While his public statements likely won't override their decision to shut him down, it's encouraging to see the fire and the passion that he's exhibiting. It's scary to think how good he could be next season with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove." Source: Mark Zuckerman Sep. 8 - 7:44 pm et

   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4230489)
That said, to Harvey's #88, the most I have heard statheads do on this issue is:

1) criticize managers for one or a stretch of high-pitch outings; or
2) criticize managers for working young pitchers too many innings - well into the 200s.

But a) these criticisms generally haven't happened for years (for one thing, such high-pitch outings for the most part haven't happened in years), and b) Strasburg is nowhere near the innings totals that people would care about.

The idea that people were going to be criticizing the Nats if Strasburg continued to pitch and got hurt is not backed by any reason, as far as I can tell.
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