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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shaikin: Stephen Strasburg’s surgeon on Nationals shutdown: ‘I wasn’t asked’

The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said he did not tell the Washington Nationals to shut down their ace pitcher.

“I wasn’t asked,” Dr. Lewis Yocum told the Los Angeles Times.

Yocum said he had not talked with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year and had not talked with Strasburg since spring training….

Yocum said that, had he been asked, he would not have been able to provide conclusive information about whether Strasburg’s long-term health would be best served by shutting him down.

“There’s no statistic as far as studies,” Yocum said.

Yocum noted that Rizzo set his own standard with Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann….

Yocum said that process — and not any medical directive — essentially determined how Rizzo would proceed with Strasburg.

“It’s based on Mike’s experience,” Yocum said. “Mike is extremely confident. His track record speaks for itself. Zimmermann did extremely well.”

Yocum said the results with Zimmermann and Strasburg might well influence how other teams handle the progress of young pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery, in which a damaged ligament in the forearm is replaced.

“If there was a guarantee, everybody would be doing it right now,” Yocum said. “You just don’t know. This may be the beginning of a trend.”

JE (Jason) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM | 208 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: health, medical, nationals

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   101. TerpNats Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4235459)
For the billionth time, this is overall Nats process. It is not a secret Strasburg plan. It is the same thing that they did with ZImmermn where it worked extremely well.

Not "worked." Has worked. So far.

But in relation to what? They chose Plan A with Zimmerman; we don't know what would have happened if Plan B had been chosen, any more than I know that when I take Route 16 to my grandmother's house and arrive safely, I would have crashed had I taken the Mass Pike.

And again, they weren't in contention when they did it with Zimmerman. I don't think anybody would be complaining if they did this and the Nats were 10 out.
Ray, I might take your thoughts a little more seriously if you remembered that Jordan Zimmermann has two n's at the end of his name; third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has one.

To be fair, you're hardly the only one who does this, but it's further evidence that beyond the hardy core of Nationals fans, people think this team is comprised of Strasburg, Harper and a bunch of relative nobodies. And having more than 20 nobodies on the roster doesn't lead you to the best record in MLB as I write this.
   102. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4235460)
It is a little ironic that on a website when managers are slammed for not thinking outside the box, some are slamming a GM for doing exactly that.


Why? There is no virtue in thinking outside the box in and of itself. You kind of need to make good decisions.
   103. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4235461)
Well, what the hell else do a bunch of miserable Red Sox fans have to talk about these days? Li'l Petunia's newborn? Bobby Valentine's mustache collection?


Andy, are you at all interested in discussing this? Or just in trolling these threads? Because all you've done is issue ad hominems.
   104. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM (#4235471)
Told you so.
   105. shoewizard Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:44 AM (#4235472)
I've asked before and I'll ask again. Nobody has responded to this question.

Couldn't they have just skipped a start every 5 weeks or so ?

Treat him as the 5th starter, and when you have days off that allow you to skip the 5th starter, do so. Wouldn't that effectively limit his innings workload ? Skipping 5 or 6 starts spaced out evenly over a 6 month season does not constitute a "shutdown"

They didn't need to start him later in the season. And they didn't need to shut him down for a 2-4 week stretch mid season. They could have just skipped him once in a while and held him to 26-27 starts.

27 x 5.67 IP = 153 IP.

That still even leaves a little room for perhaps 2 or 3 post season starts, or perhaps some long relief work in the post season.

And for those Nats fans resentful of us Non Nats fans for our concern of the issue, it's a hot topic, it's interesting, and it could even be a trend that could affect one of our pitchers someday soon.

For the record, Mike Rizzo is a good guy, and a GREAT baseball executive. Doesn't mean he is never going to make a wrong decision or can never be second guessed though.

   106. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 06:36 AM (#4235480)
Couldn't they have just skipped a start every 5 weeks or so ?

Don't you understand? That would violate The Process.
   107. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4235493)
Couldn't they have just skipped a start every 5 weeks or so ?


If you ask...well everyone else, then yes they could have.

Rizzo has said they think having Strasburg stop then start again is a bad idea. It's not something I agree with but it's where the Nats come down on the issue.
   108. shoewizard Posted: September 14, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4235513)
But skipping a start once in a while, like any other 5th starter does is not stopping and starting really. It's just more rest between starts once in a while.

The extra healing time with extra rest on a regular basis without actually being shut down would seem to be the best thing for him.

   109. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4235528)
But skipping a start once in a while, like any other 5th starter does is not stopping and starting really. It's just more rest between starts once in a while.


I agree with you 100%. I think the Nationals disagree with us.
   110. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4235543)
Treat him as the 5th starter, and when you have days off that allow you to skip the 5th starter, do so. Wouldn't that effectively limit his innings workload ? Skipping 5 or 6 starts spaced out evenly over a 6 month season does not constitute a "shutdown"


Agree completely.
   111. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4235547)
Don't you understand? That would violate The Process.

It really does seem like they made a plan, and then covered their ears, saying "NAAAH, NAAAH, NAAAH, not listening" as events changed.

Rizzo should read up on strategy. "No plan survives contact with the enemy", as von Moltke said.
   112. Bug Selig Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4235659)
They could have just skipped him once in a while and held him to 26-27 starts.


So you're proposing that he could basically pitch once a week. Maybe that's too radical for the Nats, but he did just that for 2 years in college, and I think he did OK.
   113. Bug Selig Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4235669)
I might take your thoughts a little more seriously if you remembered that Jordan Zimmermann has two n's at the end of his name; third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has one.


You seriously equate reasoning ability with remembering the spellings of players' names?

It is very possible (and probably true of most of the people in this thread) to be logical, intelligent, and not give two popcorn farts about either the Nationals or the spelling of Jordo's last name.
   114. Hack Wilson Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4235678)
I might take your thoughts a little more seriously if you remembered that Jordan Zimmermann has two n's at the end of his name; third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has one.


I get them both confused with Don Zimmer who has no Ns.
   115. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4235684)
I get them both confused with Don Zimmer who has no Ns.

Well, he has one.
   116. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4235735)
Treat him as the 5th starter, and when you have days off that allow you to skip the 5th starter, do so.

...

But skipping a start once in a while, like any other 5th starter does is not stopping and starting really. It's just more rest between starts once in a while.


Perfectly logical and reasonable, except that practically nobody actually treats the fifth starter spot this way anymore. If teams did, the we'd see a lot more guys making 35 or 36 starts in a season (instead of 32 or 33) than we have in recent years.

EDIT: This is what skipping the fifth starter whenever you can looks like. Or maybe this. Would that be a good idea for the rest of Washington's starters?
   117. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4235751)
Well, what the hell else do a bunch of miserable Red Sox fans have to talk about these days? Li'l Petunia's newborn? Bobby Valentine's mustache collection?


Andy, are you at all interested in discussing this? Or just in trolling these threads?


As if calling for Rizzo to be fired isn't Trolling to the Nth degree. Sorry, Ray, I can't take anything you're saying about this whole issue seriously. You've got no rooting interest in the team, and you couldn't care less about whether Strasburg ever pitches another inning. Even Joey B is more worthy of attention here than you are, since at least he's got a rooting interest in the Nats' success. You're nothing more than the latest version of Rob Dibble.
   118. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4235764)
As if calling for Rizzo to be fired isn't Trolling to the Nth degree. Sorry, Ray, I can't take anything you're saying about this whole issue seriously. You've got no rooting interest in the team, and you couldn't care less about whether Strasburg ever pitches another inning. Even Joey B is more worthy of attention here than you are, since at least he's got a rooting interest in the Nats' success. You're nothing more than the latest version of Rob Dibble.
The curious thing to me, actually, are the attempts by some -- both here in this thread and elsewhere -- to claim that you're not really a fan of the Nationals because you're also a longstanding Yanks fan, and therefore you're only 'trolling' on Nats-related threads or something. Which is as ridiculous as saying I'm really a Mariners fan who has no business caring about the team that moved into my lifelong (literally from birth) hometown in 2005.

Newsflash: Andy's a DC native and people are allowed to like a team in each league without any sort of major cognitive dissonance. He's been commenting about Nats stuff here for as long as I can remember. Moreover, the Nationals have only been in Washington for 7 years, therefore literally every single person in this region who likes baseball and is over the age of 15 was a fan of some other franchise before the Nats arrived. Such dual allegiances are to be *expected* at this point.
   119. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4235774)

Perfectly logical and reasonable, except that practically nobody actually treats the fifth starter spot this way anymore. If teams did, the we'd see a lot more guys making 35 or 36 starts in a season (instead of 32 or 33) than we have in recent years.

EDIT: This is what skipping the fifth starter whenever you can looks like. Or maybe this. Would that be a good idea for the rest of Washington's starters?


Except the Nationals had a perfectly cromulent 6th starter in Lannan that they could use to avoid overtaxing their other SPs.
   120. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4235777)
You seriously equate reasoning ability with remembering the spellings of players' names?


I don't mind the spelling flame, actually. I pay careful attention to spelling, particularly the spelling of names, and I think people here would have no trouble testifying to that.

TerpNats's point is that I'm not a Nats fan and I don't follow the team closely - otherwise I'd have spelled Zimmermann's name correctly. And he's right, but so what? I looked at Zimmermann's performance record carefully before commenting, as I did for all of the Nats pitchers in this discussion. So, while I'm happy to entertain his notion that sloppy spelling is an indication of sloppy thinking, I don't really see the overall point.
   121. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4235779)
Except the Nationals had a perfectly cromulent 6th starter in Lannan that they could use to avoid overtaxing their other SPs.


Sure. It just adds a little complexity. Certainly not an unmanageable amount of complexity. Anyway, I was mostly just responding to the idea that the skipping of the fifth starter spot is routine in MLB these days.
   122. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4235781)
The curious thing to me, actually, are the attempts by some -- both here in this thread and elsewhere -- to claim that you're not really a fan of the Nationals because you're also a longstanding Yanks fan, and therefore you're only 'trolling' on Nats-related threads or something.


I presume you're not referring to me here, as I've done no such thing. I couldn't care less whether Andy is a real fan of the team, and I've made no comments to that effect; I've assumed that he is, specifically, that he's a dual fan of the Yankees and Nationals.

I think he is trolling these Strasburg threads because he never has a substantive contribution. All he's doing is sniping at people who dare voice an opinion he disagrees with.
   123. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4235782)
I don't really see the overall point.


I think the overall point is that you're sloppy. You probably wear dirty, wrinkled clothes and leave giant piles of comic books and partially eaten frozen foods in your mom's basement.
   124. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4235783)
Sure. It just adds a little complexity. Certainly not an unmanageable amount of complexity. Anyway, I was mostly just responding to the idea that the skipping of the fifth starter spot is routine in MLB these days.

It raises a good point though.

Given how crappy most 5th SPs are, you'd think teams would give more thought to playing matchups, with 2-3 swing starters/long men in the pen filling the 5th spot. This used to be pretty common. Don't know why it went away.

The bonus would be having extra arms stretched out and ready to fill in for injuries elsewhere in the rotation.
   125. Joey B. Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4235786)
Newsflash: Andy's a DC native and people are allowed to like a team in each league without any sort of major cognitive dissonance. He's been commenting about Nats stuff here for as long as I can remember. Moreover, the Nationals have only been in Washington for 7 years, therefore literally every single person in this region who likes baseball and is over the age of 15 was a fan of some other franchise before the Nats arrived. Such dual allegiances are to be *expected* at this point.

I know what you're saying, but personally I have absolutely no respect for a lifelong D.C. native who roots for the freaking Yankees and Celtics. I mean, could you possibly be any more of an obvious and pathetic front-runner? I'll bet he probably also roots for the Cowboys, the Canadiens, and Notre Dame football too. Seriously, who the hell roots for the Yankees and the Celtics unless you're from Greenwich, Connecticut or something?
   126. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4235789)
As if calling for Rizzo to be fired isn't Trolling to the Nth degree.


It's not. It's what I believe. I believe his reasons for a major decision that has financial and historical implications have been irrational.

Sorry, Ray, I can't take anything you're saying about this whole issue seriously. You've got no rooting interest in the team, and you couldn't care less about whether Strasburg ever pitches another inning.


Huh? My whole argument is that Strasburg _should_ be pitching. And I love the fact that he's in the league. I specifically check the boxscores for his starts.

Even Joey B is more worthy of attention here than you are, since at least he's got a rooting interest in the Nats' success. You're nothing more than the latest version of Rob Dibble.


I've contributed plenty of substance, as anyone would agree. It's you who has had nothing of value to add, at all, other than slinging mud.
   127. JJ1986 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4235792)
I just really don't get why "rooting interest in the team" is necessary or even important for one to make a judgment about Strasburg and the shutdown.
   128. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4235794)
May have already been mentioned upthread, but the Cards put Lance Lynn in the bullpen (where he sucked, but that's not the point) for a month before putting him back in the rotation. This Strasburg thing has been discussed to death, resurrected and discussed to death again, but count me amongst those who think the Nats limited his innings in about the stupidest way possible. I would like to knwo what Derek Bell thinks though.
   129. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4235801)
Given how crappy most 5th SPs are, you'd think teams would give more thought to playing matchups, with 2-3 swing starters/long men in the pen filling the 5th spot.


I understand the regular schedule vs playing matchups argument, but I don't really get why most teams don't skip the fifth spot more often, like they used to. I was just noting the current paradigm, not advocating for it.

Seriously, who the hell roots for the Yankees and the Celtics unless you're from Greenwich, Connecticut or something?


He grew up in a different time, when developing an admiration for organizations that managed to sustain excellence over a long period was not considered a character flaw. I knew a guy when I was in grad school who started sporting a brand new Tigers cap a month into the 1984 season and a brand new Red Sox cap halfway through 1986. That's what a front-runner looks like.
   130. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4235807)
I understand the regular schedule vs playing matchups argument, but I don't really get why most teams don't skip the fifth spot more often, like they used to. I was just noting the current paradigm, not advocating for it.


I get the 2nd part (they want to give their top 4 guts an extra day of rest when possible.

What I don't get is the usage of the 5th guys. These guys typically suck on a regular schedule, so I see limited downside to rotating 2 or 3 guys between the 5th spot and long relief.
   131. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4235810)
Well, for a lot of teams, the third, fourth, sixth and seventh guys also suck. So while there may not be much downside, there probably isn't a whole lot of upside either.
   132. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4235817)
I just really don't get why "rooting interest in the team" is necessary or even important for one to make a judgment about Strasburg and the shutdown.

If Rizzo were to have taken the collective advice of non-Nats fans and as a result Strasburg came up hurt next year, their collective reaction will be a Seinfeldian "That's a shame." A few of them might admit that their prescription might have been flawed, but the Rays of the world would just yawn and say "prove it," and keep on with the same prescription for the next Tommy John surgery recuperation. Pardon me if I have no interest in entertaining opinions from people like that. It's no different than if a Yankee fan like me were to hang out in one of those Red Sox Therapy threads and continually keep opinionating about what the Red Sox should do or shouldn't do. I'm sure that would come off real well if I kept it up like Ray has about Strasburg.
   133. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4235818)
Well, for a lot of teams, the third, fourth, sixth and seventh guys also suck. So while there may not be much downside, there probably isn't a whole lot of upside either.

Sure. I guess my bias is when something isn't working, try something else.
   134. SoSH U at work Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4235840)
The curious thing to me, actually, are the attempts by some -- both here in this thread and elsewhere -- to claim that you're not really a fan of the Nationals because you're also a longstanding Yanks fan, and therefore you're only 'trolling' on Nats-related threads or something. Which is as ridiculous as saying I'm really a Mariners fan who has no business caring about the team that moved into my lifelong (literally from birth) hometown in 2005.

Newsflash: Andy's a DC native and people are allowed to like a team in each league without any sort of major cognitive dissonance. He's been commenting about Nats stuff here for as long as I can remember. Moreover, the Nationals have only been in Washington for 7 years, therefore literally every single person in this region who likes baseball and is over the age of 15 was a fan of some other franchise before the Nats arrived. Such dual allegiances are to be *expected* at this point.


That's mostly me. And I frankly don't give a crap whether you and Andy profess to have two great baseball loves. I don't practice that kind of philandering with my baseball devotion, but to each his own.

I'm merely having a little fun with the fact the Nats are clearly Andy's auxiliary team because of his repeated idiotic claims that only the opinion of Nats fans counts in the Strasburg situation, as if all of us non-Beltway types can't have a legitimate opinion on one of the more noteworthy baseball stories of the past several years. Further, he routinely has said that most of the anti-shutdown opinion has come from non-Nats fans, though two of the most prominent Nats-only fans at this site, Joey and Chris, are both opposed to, at least, the way this has been executed.
   135. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4235843)
Oh I feel pretty Nats-only these days myself. I mean, given that I've listened to (or at least followed via gameday) literally every single one of their games minus a handful since 2005, I feel like I've earned the mythical "True Fan" designation.
   136. bunyon Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4235845)
The curious thing to me, actually, are the attempts by some -- both here in this thread and elsewhere -- to claim that you're not really a fan of the Nationals because you're also a longstanding Yanks fan, and therefore you're only 'trolling' on Nats-related threads or something. Which is as ridiculous as saying I'm really a Mariners fan who has no business caring about the team that moved into my lifelong (literally from birth) hometown in 2005.

Newsflash: Andy's a DC native and people are allowed to like a team in each league without any sort of major cognitive dissonance.


This may refer, in part, to me. I did raise such a question in that I have only ever known Andy* to be a Yankees fan. I know he lives in DC and grew up there. It makes perfect sense for him to be a Nats fan. As Ray say, his Yankee interest isn't terribly consistent except in that lots of people all over the US were Yankee fans in the 40s and 50s.

I was responding to his claim that I, and others like me, should have no opinions or should not express them because we aren't Nats fans. Going with that last sentence in the quoted bit, we can all root for whoever the hell we like. There is no "rule" that one can have a team in both leagues, it's just that many do. Likewise, I can just like baseball and talk about that. Andy is the one who originated the idea that who you root for is relevant to whether your opinion matters on the personnel moves of some particular team.**


* Andy is his name. He used to post as Andy but then changed his name, despite the fact that he rags on other people who change their names on the board. Anyway, I hope he takes no disrespect that I call him Andy. I had a cousin Pat once who became cousin Dan after being gone for a few years. Didn't change how I knew him/her.

** No team really cares what its fans think in these matters, only how to spin the PR.
   137. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4235846)
Seriously, who the hell roots for the Yankees and the Celtics unless you're from Greenwich, Connecticut or something?

I first followed baseball in New York when I was six. My block (W 110th St.) at the time was largely Italian, and the Yankees' four best players that year were Italian Americans. If I'd been living in Brooklyn I probably would've been a Dodgers fan.

By the time I started following basketball in Washington, there was no NBA team there, so I attached myself to the last place Philadelphia Warriors and the also-ran Syracuse Nats, who then became the Philly 76ers. The one team I hated was the Celtics, especially when they kept beating up on my man Wilt Chamberlain. The reason I liked Wilt so much was because he was a gunner like me. I never saw a shot I didn't like.

When the Bullets moved to DC I became a huge fan of the Unseld-Chenier-KP team (couldn't stand Hayes), but by that time I'd come to appreciate the team basketball concept, and so my backup team switched from the Erving-led Sixers to the ultimate team-style game of the Bill Walton Trail Blazers. And when Walton went down and the Blazers disintegrated, I finally got over my Celtics hatred when they got Bird and Maxwell and resurrected the team concept that had died in the late 70's. Their recent teams have continued with this style of ball, and I'm always going to favor that type of play over the superstar gunner model. I loved the Knicks of the Frazier era but hated the Knicks of the Ewing era, and would've rooted against them even if they'd won every year.

Fandom isn't always just a black and white issue of hometown loyalty vs. frontrunnerism, and there can be a lot of factors that go into choosing a team. Hell, I could put up with the Broncos when they wore their traditional solid orange jerseys, but as soon as they started with those stupid racing stripes I started hating them just when they won their two Super Bowls. I also loved the Redskins until Snyder came along.
   138. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4235848)
If Rizzo were to have taken the collective advice of non-Nats fans and as a result Strasburg came up hurt next year, their collective reaction will be a Seinfeldian "That's a shame." A few of them might admit that their prescription might have been flawed, but the Rays of the world would just yawn and say "prove it," and keep on with the same prescription for the next Tommy John surgery recuperation. Pardon me if I have no interest in entertaining opinions from people like that. It's no different than if a Yankee fan like me were to hang out in one of those Red Sox Therapy threads and continually keep opinionating about what the Red Sox should do or shouldn't do. I'm sure that would come off real well if I kept it up like Ray has about Strasburg.


What are you saying, Andy? That I can't have an opinion on the Strasburg shutdown if I'm not a Nats fan? Does that make any sense? How is this issue different from scores of baseball-related issues that we discuss here?
   139. Joey B. Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4235851)
Oh. Well in that case I stand totally corrected; you're not the least bit of a frontrunner at all [me doing the biggest eyeball roll of my lifetime].
   140. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4235852)
Andy is his name. He used to post as Andy but then changed his name, despite the fact that he rags on other people who change their names on the board.

I've never once said anything about people changing their handles. That's Ray's complaint, not mine. What I've argued for is greater transparency and personal background information on the Primate's information page, so that a Primate's opinions can be viewed in context. No matter what name I've posted under, my info has remained constant, and can easily be verified within a minute or two.
   141. Ron J2 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4235853)
#76 For the bulk of his career Ryan produced a tiny attendance spike. At the very end it was significant.

There are only a handful of players who boost attendance beyond their overall contribution to winning. Is Strasburg one of them? Don't know, haven't checked.

EDIT: Or what Ray already posted.
   142. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4235855)
What are you saying, Andy? That I can't have an opinion on the Strasburg shutdown if I'm not a Nats fan? Does that make any sense? How is this issue different from scores of baseball-related issues that we discuss here?

Of course you can have an opinion, but I also have the sense to place that opinion within the framework of your indifference to the Nats' future fate.
   143. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4235861)

Of course you can have an opinion, but I also have the sense to place that opinion within the framework of your indifference to the Nats' future fate.


Wanting the Nationals to take their best shot at a WS when they have the best team in the league is hardly indifference. The argument is the tradeoff between current success, risk, and potential future risk.
   144. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4235873)
Of course you can have an opinion, but I also have the sense to place that opinion within the framework of your indifference to the Nats' future fate.


That hardly supports your behavior in these threads, going around throwing bombs at me because I have argued against the shutdown.
   145. JJ1986 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4235874)
It's no different than if a Yankee fan like me were to hang out in one of those Red Sox Therapy threads and continually keep opinionating about what the Red Sox should do or shouldn't do


I don't see anything wrong with this either. We're baseball fans here. We have opinions about issues beyond the one or two teams that we root for and can have opinions about what those teams should or should not do.
   146. zenbitz Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4235897)
I really (genuinely) surprised at you, Ray. You are not the type to wishcast.

The playoffs are a crapshoot, and Strasburg was going to pitch, what 4-5 games, tops? 24-27 innings, maybe? He is being replaced by Detwiler, right? ERA difference of 0.04, FIP difference of 1.0. ERA+ difference of 126/123. 7 RAR more for Strasberg in 15 more innings.

Let's be *EXTREMELY* generous and give the Nats +10% to win a given game over Detwiler (it's probably more like 2% or even 0). What does that increase their overall chances of winning the WS?

Assume all other games are 50-50 (this is also false in Strasborg plays! factions favor because the Nats have the best record in baseball)

Lets assume either pitches game 3 in a 5 game series, and games 3 and 6 in a 7 game series.

So they go to a 60% to win series 1. ~72% to win 2 and 3. Chances of losing over all = 18% as compared to 12.5%

   147. Srul Itza Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4235918)
EDIT: This is what skipping the fifth starter whenever you can looks like. Or maybe this. Would that be a good idea for the rest of Washington's starters?


Well, Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Bobby Cox who handled them are all headed to the Hall of Fame, so, maybe, yes.
   148. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4235924)
It's no different than if a Yankee fan like me were to hang out in one of those Red Sox Therapy threads and continually keep opinionating about what the Red Sox should do or shouldn't do.

I don't see anything wrong with this either. We're baseball fans here. We have opinions about issues beyond the one or two teams that we root for and can have opinions about what those teams should or should not do.


And others have the perfect right to place those opinions in the appropriate framework of the opinionater's fandom, and respond in any form we wish, including snark and what Ray calls "bombs".
   149. Ron J2 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4235926)
#146 I think it depends on how you see Strasburg. I know Ray would argue for ignoring trends and looking at full season stats. The people who are most supportive of the shutdown don't like the way SS's season was trending.

The way I look at it, your back of the envelope calcs are reasonable, and while you can argue the impact is small, you can also argue that it's about as large an impact as any single decision can have.
   150. Bob Tufts Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4235931)
Starting pitching thrives when one has a consistent routine. The routine can build on success or disrupt recent setbacks. You throw in a game, rest, work on side, rest, pitching charts for opposition then throw in a game.

I loved being a starting pitcher in the minors - you lived a 5 day week for 28 cycles.

In making Stras a skipped starter on a random basis you disrupt the routines of all of the other pitchers. It's a bad idea that would have negatively affected the other four starters.

   151. Srul Itza Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4235937)
Bob -- how is that affected by off-days? Do the starting pitchers appreciate the extra day off, or does it affect their schedules? If you were going to discommodate one pitcher, why not make it the 5th starter, who presumably is no great shakes as compared to 1-4?

Note -- this has NOTHING to do with Strasburg; he is not a "fifth starter". I am more interested in terms of season long starting pitcher use.
   152. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4235938)
Starting pitching thrives when one has a consistent routine. The routine can build on success or disrupt recent setbacks. You throw in a game, rest, work on side, rest, pitching charts for opposition then throw in a game.

I loved being a starting pitcher in the minors - you lived a 5 day week for 28 cycles.

In making Stras a skipped starter on a random basis you disrupt the routines of all of the other pitchers. It's a bad idea that would have negatively affected the other four starters.


But, traditionally, the 5th SP was skipped to keep the other 4 on their routine, i.e. always on four days rest, not giving them the extra day with days off.
   153. Srul Itza Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4235949)
Well, now I know snapper has me on ignore.
   154. JJ1986 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4235950)
And others have the perfect right to place those opinions in the appropriate framework of the opinionater's fandom, and respond in any form we wish, including snark and what Ray calls "bombs".


I still don't get why fandom matters. If I'm commenting on "what the Nationals should do", I am trying to think of it from the perspective of the Nationals. There's no sort of what-the-Nationals-should-do-to-help-the-Mets-wink-wink theory involved.
   155. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4235956)
Well, now I know snapper has me on ignore.

Nope. Just a slow typist.
   156. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4235976)
And others have the perfect right to place those opinions in the appropriate framework of the opinionater's fandom


It's not an issue of fandom.

and respond in any form we wish, including snark and what Ray calls "bombs".


It's one of the most interesting baseball issues ever, and you're attacking people for having an opinion on it. That is disgusting behavior.
   157. PepTech Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4236014)
I didn't get the impression you were being attacked for having an opinion. Your opinion was attacked because it's extreme, inflammatory, and has been undermined by actual facts.

Rizzo's decision should be overruled, or he should be fired. It's not that he lied to Jayson Stark, but that he has no justification for any decision that turns specifically on 160 vs. 200. And people here argued that he had Yocum behind him, and now that pillar has fallen.


Turns out Yocum was misrepresented, maybe, or something - hard to say where the initial quote fell by the wayside. So if Rizzo needed that "pillar", which he doesn't, it's still there.
Rizzo has altered the course of the Nats' franchise based on 200>160, which is ludicrous


Rizzo's decision *may*, or *may not*, turn out to be smart, or stupid, but more likely we'll never know, because we only have the one reality to work with. At the risk of being repetitive, what if it turns out the Nats win the WS this year, and Struesel leads them to not only the playoffs for the next 10 years but three or four WS titles over that span (along with sellouts, and huge profits)? Would Rizzo be a genius then, or a blind squirrel who found a nut? To have any credibility, you must opt unequivocably, right now, for squirrel.

Maybe we should wait and find out, before demanding someone lose their job.

   158. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4236015)
It's one of the most interesting baseball issues ever, and you're attacking people for having an opinion on it. That is disgusting behavior.

I love it. This from a manchild who throws out "liar" and "dishonest" as routinely as a ballplayer spits out sunflower seeds. It's an "interesting" issue only to the extent that it seems to split almost entirely on a Nats fans / non-Nats fans fault line. The rest of it is simply a GM wisely exercising caution with one of his team's major investments, which you seem to think is a fireable offense, but which most Nats fans realize is nothing but applied caution and common sense.
   159. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4236018)
Rizzo's decision *may*, or *may not*, turn out to be smart, or stupid, but more likely we'll never know, because we only have the one reality to work with.

The genius of Ray's Papal edicts is that he always frames the argument so he can't be proven wrong in his own eyes. It's the baseball equivalent of the late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo's "the lie detector lied." If the Orioles win on the field, then they were "lucky" because they didn't also win the Pythagorean flag. He's got a million variants on that tired old theme.
   160. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4236031)
Rizzo's decision *may*, or *may not*, turn out to be smart, or stupid, but more likely we'll never know, because we only have the one reality to work with. At the risk of being repetitive, what if it turns out the Nats win the WS this year, and Struesel leads them to not only the playoffs for the next 10 years but three or four WS titles over that span (along with sellouts, and huge profits)? Would Rizzo be a genius then, or a blind squirrel who found a nut? To have any credibility, you must opt unequivocably, right now, for squirrel.


Like analyzing a trade, the decision to shut Strasburg down is properly analyzed now, because the decision is based on information available now, not in the future. So I don't care if the Nats win the next 10 World Series.
   161. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4236048)
The rest of it is simply a GM wisely exercising caution with one of his team's major investments, which you seem to think is a fireable offense, but which most Nats fans realize is nothing but applied caution and common sense.

Yes, Andy, until Strasburg, no MLB organization had ever made a major investment in a pitcher and never had that pitcher go through TJ surgery. This is the first time it's ever happened.

The reason this is interesting is obvious -- no team has ever done anything like this with a major investment. The Yankees kind of did with Tubby Joba, and look how that worked out.

The Nats have no clue whether 160/not 200 will impact Strasburg's future and no idea of the extent and nature of that impact. None. And they've lied about their "research" -- they don't have a ####### secret study and they don't have buy-in from doctors.

The fellating of Rizzo as some avant-garde savant is Cameronesque bordering on Waldmanesque.
   162. Bob Tufts Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4236064)
Saul:

Bob -- how is that affected by off-days? Do the starting pitchers appreciate the extra day off, or does it affect their schedules?


Generally you do not want off days which change the schedule - unless there is a travel day from coast to coast invovled which can mess with your ability to be awake enough to pitch. If oyu are going well, you love the routine. If you are going poorly, you want to get back out there on the mound asap!


Snapper:

But, traditionally, the 5th SP was skipped to keep the other 4 on their routine, i.e. always on four days rest, not giving them the extra day with days off.


In the 60's and 70's yes! But who goes withg a 4 man rotation now even with off days unless someone is hurt or the pennant race is on the line? Not every team is the 1971 Orioles (only 9 starts other than the big four....)
   163. Bob Tufts Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4236069)
Like analyzing a trade, the decision to shut Strasburg down is properly analyzed now..


The Tigers sure got the better of the Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz trade - and the Red Sox cleaned up on the Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell trade.
   164. Ron J2 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4236070)
they don't have a ####### secret study and they don't have buy-in from doctors.


Seriously, what's the evidence for this assertion.

I believe they have a study. I have no clue about the quality of research, but Rizzo gave us the basic outline and I'm pretty sure you could come up with something.

That said, as Bill James pointed out in his back and forth with Rany and Keith about PAP, extreme power pitchers tend to be outliers in terms of the workload that they can handle (or perhaps to be more precise, the outliers in terms of ability to handle workload are almost without exception extreme power pitchers or knucklers) and SS is about as extreme a power pitcher as there is.

From Rizzo's comments it looks like they tried to control for this, but there is a shortage of extreme power pitchers who had Tommy John surgery at 22.
   165. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4236075)
Like analyzing a trade, the decision to shut Strasburg down is properly analyzed now, because the decision is based on information available now, not in the future.


But as with a trade, not all the information is available to us now. We haven't seen Rizzo's magic 50-page report. We don't know things like how much more Davey Johnson wants to manage in the major leagues, or is physically capable of managing. Rizzo knows more than we do about things like the work ethic of the key players on his team, or whether someone is likely to drink his way out of the league, or which of his players have mechanical flaws that they're likely to overcome in the future.

Similarly, GMs making decisions about trades have far more information at their hands then we the great unwashed do. When the Rockies traded Ubaldo Jimenez for Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, I had no way of knowing if Jimenez' struggles at the time were a temporary blip or a sign that his productive career was nearing an end. But even though that information was unavailable to me, Dan O'Dowd should very well have had a better handle on it than I did. If O'Dowd didn't have more information than a well-educated fan, then that's reason enough to fire him.

Anyway, that's why I think it's fair to judge GMs on the outcome of trades and other transactions, rather than just on what we thought was right at the time. It's their job to know more about these things than we do.
   166. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4236087)
In the 60's and 70's yes! But who goes withg a 4 man rotation now even with off days unless someone is hurt or the pennant race is on the line? Not every team is the 1971 Orioles (only 9 starts other than the big four....)

Right, but a 4.5 man rotation would seem to be best to achieve what you say is the optimal, here:

Generally you do not want off days which change the schedule - unless there is a travel day from coast to coast invovled which can mess with your ability to be awake enough to pitch. If oyu are going well, you love the routine. If you are going poorly, you want to get back out there on the mound asap!

Unless I'm misreading you, you're saying it's better to give the top 4 starters the ball every 5th day, regardless of off-days or rainouts (except for a coast-to-coast trip).
   167. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4236089)
I believe they have a study.

I'm sure they have a study; it just isn't remotely persuasive on the 160/200 impact -- because it can't be.(*)

As to the doctors, Yocum himself says he didn't recommend or sign off on 160/200, which isn't surprising since that isn't what doctors do. Surgeons do surgeries and study surgery. They aren't physical therapists.

(*) That's the question -- what does 160 do for you at this remove from surgery that 180 or 200 won't? It isn't, "What's happened with TJ surgeries and workload since 1975?" We need to remain clear and focused on that. And SSS will swallow up any trends; how many comps are there for Strasburg -- two? Three? It's hard to believe this fundamental point is so elusive here.
   168. Ron J2 Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4236102)
#163 That's a willful misinterpretation of what Ray wrote. While somehave defended both deals (particularly the Alexander/Smoltz) deal on "flags fly forever" grounds color me doubtful Ray would be among them.

Given Ray's posting history, can you imagine him favoring the trade of a top prospect (Bagwell turned out much better than expected, but there was every reason to expect a good OBP guy with lots of doubles. Considering the park he played in, the minor league numbers are really good) for a month of a relief pitcher?

Alexander/Smoltz is a lot more complicated. He was a suspect. A 20 year old with a great arm and no history of success (a 5.68 ERA in AA with 86K and 81 BB in 130 IP). Sure he was the Tigers top prospect, but he wasn't a top prospect. It was a weak system and nobody was any better. Maz listed Scott Lusader as their #2 prospsct.

Within a year Smoltz had improved to the point that the Reds supposedly offered Eric Davis for him. That's a really surprising level of improvement. Maybe the Braves saw something specific and correctable. They had a sensational record of turning talent into players in that general time frame (the improvement started at Richmond so it probably wasn't Mazzone)

Dunno, it's obviously a bad idea to trade a future HOFer, but I'd have probably made the deal in their shoes. And regretted it in the long run of course.
   169. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4236104)
I believe they have a study.

I'm sure they have a study; it just isn't remotely persuasive on the 160/200 impact -- because it can't be.(*)


This is the point, yes. We simply can't get so specific to offer a strong opinion that 160 IP this year for Strasburg isn't risky, but 200 IP is.
   170. Bob Tufts Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4236110)
you're saying it's better to give the top 4 starters the ball every 5th day, regardless of off-days or rainouts (except for a coast-to-coast trip).


Yes. Why not throw your best 4 pitchers more than your 5th starter? The only caveat is that if your 5th starter cannot function under these circumstances and their inability to perform (control especially) depletes your bullpen every 5th game. You wouldn't throw a sinkerballer as a starter on a random schedule nor someone who has been shown to need the work to harness control. However, if you had followed this pattern with Stras in 2012 he would have maxed out at the end of July.

Did any extra days benefit Stras this season? Was he as effective? His control appears to be fine and his K's only were low in his last start after 7 days.


By the way, I did not realize that four pitchers - Wilson, Soria, Drabke and Yates - have undergone their second UCL surgery in 2012 - and recovery from a second UCL operation is significantly lower - 20% vs 80%
   171. bunyon Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4236113)
or even 0

If the difference in odds of winning a game with Detwiler pitching are the same as with Strasburg pitching, why is Strasburg being paid so much money?

Not really trying to pick at your overall point which is, yeah, this decision probably isn't a huge swing either way - for either the Nats odds of winning the World Series or for Strasburg's future health. And whatever small number that actually is, we can't know it with any precision.

I'm on record as saying let him pitch, but mostly because I think pitching for a winning team that might win a championship is what someone like Strasburg works their whole life for. Sitting it out because "there is a chance"* he might get hurt seems sad and lame. It might well be the "right" decision - again, no way to know for sure.


* And, obvioulsy, I don't have all the details. He certainly didn't look all that great his last few starts. If they had not mentioned a "shut down", my guess is they could claim some tweak and sit him now and, while people would be disappointed, no one would be upset at all.
   172. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4236114)
Kyle Drabek was used essentially like Strasburg in the first two years after TJS (*) and blew it again four years out. The other three 2012 double-dippers are relievers.

It's basically a crapshoot. Arms were not meant to repeatedly throw baseballs overhand.

(*) The primary difference being the vast majority of Drabek's innings were in the minor leagues.
   173. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4236119)
EDIT: Never mind on Drabek, I misadded. He supports the decision to shut Strasburg down.
   174. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4236120)
Yes. Why not throw your best 4 pitchers more than your 5th starter?

No, I agree with you. I think the 4.5 man rotation is due for a comeback.
   175. PepTech Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4236129)
Like analyzing a trade, the decision to shut Strasburg down is properly analyzed now, because the decision is based on information available now, not in the future. So I don't care if the Nats win the next 10 World Series.

I doubt it will do much good, but I call shenanigans.

Rizzo has altered the course of the Nats' franchise

Well, that much is true; every decision he makes "alters the course" at some level. However, you are making the assertion that the Shutdown has negatively altered the course. If they win the WS this year, how exactly does the Shutdown turn out negative? If they win the next five WS behind SchweinHund?

He has at least as much "justification for any decision" regarding 160 vs. 200 (which is to say, internal belief) as you have for wanting him fired. Is all I'm sayin'.
   176. spycake Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4236133)
Within a year Smoltz had improved to the point that the Reds supposedly offered Eric Davis for him.


Forget the injury/DL database -- I want a trade rumor database!
   177. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4236134)
Well, that much is true; every decision he makes "alters the course" at some level. However, you are making the assertion that the Shutdown has negatively altered the course. If they win the WS this year, how exactly does the Shutdown turn out negative? If they win the next five WS behind SchweinHund?


If they win the WS this year I'll agree it didn't hurt them in any real way, so in that sense I concede that Rizzo has not necessarily altered the course of the franchise. (Is this "negatively altered the course" language language I've used, specifically?)

I will say this: The number of people fighting Rizzo's critics to the ground, going all out to defend the shutdown of the team's best pitcher for the playoffs on the basis of 160/200 is flat out bizarre.

(And he IS the team's best pitcher, for those who are confused about this simple point.)
   178. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4236144)
If they win the WS this year, how exactly does the Shutdown turn out negative?

What if the extra innings other guys are throwing because S isn't throwing them blow out one of their arms?
   179. bunyon Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4236147)

I've never once said anything about people changing their handles. That's Ray's complaint, not mine.


Yeah, but with all the name changing going on around here, it's hard to keep you two straight.
   180. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4236148)

What if the extra innings other guys are throwing because S isn't throwing them blow out one of their arms?


What happens if Gio or Jackson or Zimmerman get hurt in the first round, but the Nats still win?

Do they bring back Strasburg?

What if two of them get hurt?
   181. spycake Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4236155)
Is Strasburg still in the dugout with the team? If that's the case in the playoffs, you know the cameras are going to show him a lot. The too-frequent close-ups are already aggravating, but when it's one of the team's best pitchers being held out, it's going to be maddening to watch.
   182. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4236168)
As to the doctors, Yocum himself says he didn't recommend or sign off on 160/200, which isn't surprising since that isn't what doctors do. Surgeons do surgeries and study surgery. They aren't physical therapists.

Did you read post 84? Constantly repeating false facts isn't going to convince anyone. You keep saying things like:

The Nats have no clue whether 160/not 200 will impact Strasburg's future and no idea of the extent and nature of that impact. None. And they've lied about their "research" -- they don't have a ####### secret study and they don't have buy-in from doctors.

despite the fact that they are demonstrably false. They don't have 100% assurance, certainly. I don't know what number I'd put a percentage on. But it's not zero. They have clearly consulted with doctors, specifically Yocum and Andrews, and gotten their professional, medical opinions. If that's not enough to base a decision on, I don't know what you would ever base a decision on. I mean, read what Yocum said in the excerpt in post 84. What more do you want in order to stop saying "no clue" and "no idea"? And if the answer is that nothing will convince you, well, as I said, you're not likely to persuade anybody.
   183. spycake Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4236172)
What if two of them get hurt?

Lannan and Wang, baby!

If that unlikely scenario unfolds, I'd have to imagine that Rizzo would take some serious heat.
   184. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4236175)
Did you read post 84? Constantly repeating false facts isn't going to convince anyone. You keep saying things like:

Yep. The Nationals consulted Yocum re Strasburg after Strasburg's surgery -- no surprise. Yocum is "supportive" of the decision -- why wouldn't he be? From a medical standpoint, there's nothing to quibble with. To the question, "is it medically unwise to limit Strasburg's innings to 160?," the answer is pretty clearly, "No."

That isn't the same as Yocum saying, "160's better than 200," or even, "Should we shut Strasburg down at 160?" Yocum denies being consulted on these ultimate questions, and there's no reason to disbelieve him. He isn't a physical therapist and Strasburg isn't his only patient. He doesn't spend his time worrying about how many innings Stephen Strasburg is pitching.



   185. PepTech Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4236180)
(Is this "negatively altered the course" language language I've used, specifically?)


Technically, no. But calling for him to be fired, and calling the decision "ludicrous", does imply that the alteration is negative. If you meant he should be fired for altering the course in a positive way, my apologies.

Reducing a sure run at the playoffs this year with the best team in the league, in favor of speculative runs at the playoffs in future years with teams which will likely be worse than this one (because it's hard to stay on top) is misguided.


They have a playoff spot locked up. Whether it becomes a deep run or not is, I think we all agree, largely luck, with or without a particular player.

Rizzo has built the best team in the league (your words, and most agree). I don't understand or defend the Shutdown, either - but calling for him to fired over it is extremist, inflammatory, and misguided.
   186. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4236182)
They don't have 100% assurance, certainly. I don't know what number I'd put a percentage on. But it's not zero.


If Strasburg is pitching, he might get hurt. That has been known for more than a century. But that says nothing about 160/200.

They have clearly consulted with doctors, specifically Yocum and Andrews, and gotten their professional, medical opinions. If that's not enough to base a decision on, I don't know what you would ever base a decision on.


First, calling their opinions "professional, medical opinions" is over-selling the value they can possibly provide on the 160/200 issue, which is THE issue here. It's like saying that you consulted with a Bishop who gave a "professional, respected opinion" on whether god exists.

(I was also not aware that they consulted with Andrews on this, but maybe I just missed it.)

Second, I don't know what in the hell Yocum's story is. I can't figure it out. You're over-selling his involvement as well. How can these two statements possibly be reconciled:

The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said he did not tell the Washington Nationals to shut down their ace pitcher. “I wasn’t asked,” Dr. Lewis Yocum told the Los Angeles Times. Yocum said he had not talked with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year and had not talked with Strasburg since spring training.


vs:

"I would like to correct the misimpression generated from today’s L.A. Times article, that I have not been a participant in discussions with the Washington Nationals regarding the recovery strategy for pitcher Stephen Strasburg. In fact, I have been contacted repeatedly and have had numerous discussions with the Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and the team’s medical personnel, as recently as mid-August. While the final decision was up to the team, as is standard practice, I was supportive of their decision and am comfortable that my medical advice was responsibly considered."


"I wasn't asked" about the shutdown vs. "I have been contacted repeatedly"?

"I haven't talked with Rizzo since last year" vs. "I have had numerous discussions with Rizzo, including as recently as mid-August"?

(And "misimpression"? Huh? You've flat contradicted yourself in subsequent interviews.)

Also:

On Thursday, Yocum clarified his comments by saying he and the Nationals -- as well as Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras -- had agreed last year that the team would limit Strasburg's innings this season. Over the course of this year, Yocum said, he has spoken with Rizzo and the Nationals' medical staff but has left to the team the decisions about how and when to shut down Strasburg.


How are you concluding that we know just what in the hell Yocum's story is?

   187. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4236186)
As to the doctors, Yocum himself says he didn't recommend or sign off on 160/200, which isn't surprising since that isn't what doctors do. Surgeons do surgeries and study surgery. They aren't physical therapists.

Did you read post 84? Constantly repeating false facts isn't going to convince anyone.


As I said, the best post 84 tells us is that Yocum both didn't and did sign off on the decision. I see no cause to claim certainty about what Yocum's involvement in the decision was. He has contradicted himself flatly, and is all over the map here. Forrest Gump could have given a more coherent story.
   188. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4236197)
I've asked before and I'll ask again. Nobody has responded to this question.

Couldn't they have just skipped a start every 5 weeks or so ?


This has been addressed, several times, IIRC. The Nationals believe that pitching on a regular schedule helps Strasburg's development, and also avoids impacting the rest of the rotation. More importantly, if they held Straburg back to save another 40 innings for the playoff, and then didn't make the playoffs or were bounced early, Strasburg's 2012 workload would be so low that it would require additional restrictions in 2013, since they want Strasburg to increase his workload by only ~40 innings next year.
   189. PepTech Posted: September 14, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4236198)
Not sure if he (Yocum) contradicted himself or not. The direct quotes in the original article aren't contradicted by the later quotes or his statement. The original reporter's claim that "Yocum said he had not talked with Rizzo since last year" was suspicious from the start, considering this article. Given my experience with doctors vs reporters, I'd say it's more likely the things Yocum actually said were taken out of context in order to sensationalize an article (shocking, I know). But we don't know for sure.

Edited for clarity.
   190. shoewizard Posted: September 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4236204)
Starting pitching thrives when one has a consistent routine. The routine can build on success or disrupt recent setbacks. You throw in a game, rest, work on side, rest, pitching charts for opposition then throw in a game.

I loved being a starting pitcher in the minors - you lived a 5 day week for 28 cycles.

In making Stras a skipped starter on a random basis you disrupt the routines of all of the other pitchers. It's a bad idea that would have negatively affected the other four starters.


Bob, thanks for weighing in here. However skipping Stras on an occasional , once a month basis is not "randon". It would be planned. The schedule is made well in advance. The team could plan out when to do it without "disrupting" the other starters. The only one who's routine would be "disrupted" is Strasburg.

Furthermore, the notion that the other starters routines are not continually disrupted anyway is incorrect. Simply looking at the nationals Split pages shows they had 74 starts on 4 days rest, 41 starts on 5 days rest, and 28 starts on 6 days rest or more.

Strasburgh himself was clearly at his best this season when he had 6+ days rest in between starts. Thats a small sample size, but it certainly does nothing to suggest he was harmed in anyway when HE was given extra time to rest and heal.

Anyway....I have proposed skipping Stras about 5 times, maybe 6, through the course of the season. That can clearly be accomplished without throwing other guys off their routines, but those other guys are not always on a 4 day rest routine anyway....thats accomplished only about half the time as it is. So with clear benefit for Strasburg, and no downside or change for the other starters, I fail to see how this is a "bad" idea.

Whats a bad idea is not putting the best team you can out there, potentially demoralizing the team and the fanbase. Maybe the Nationals have done no such thing....but clearly there would not be so many threads and discussions about this if that were not the concern.



   191. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4236208)
Yocum is nowhere near as obsessed with Strasburg as some here and there's really no reason to think he'd had much contact with Rizzo re Strasburg.(*) "None" was probably an overbid, and it's easy enough to walk it back to "some" if the team asks him to.

There's no question his involvement in the ultimate decision was essentially nil.

(*) He has other patients. He operates on shoulders, knees, and elbows. There weren't any material hiccups in Strasburg's rehab. There were apparently no medical issues with the surgery (which would change this entire scenario); in any event medical speedbumps had nothing to do with the 160/200 decision. Why would he spend his time talking to Mike Rizzo and why would he keep perfect mental recollection about his contacts with Mike Rizzo? Who does such a thing?
   192. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4236215)
My understanding was that doctors/surgeons consult as to (a) whether a pitcher is injured, (b) whether a pitcher is healthy following an injury/surgery so that he can resume pitching, and (c) having input into rehab programs. But Strasburg's rehab was over. He was pitching and got to 160 innings without a problem. And so there's no reason to think that the doctors have much more to add. Again, you don't need a doctor to tell you "the less he pitches, the less chance he'll be injured." That has nothing to do with 160/200 specifically. It applies at 60/100 or 20/50 or 10/30.

Also, I supported the idea of firing Rizzo over this, but I also supported - at the same time - simply overruling Rizzo on this decision, so I don't know why I'm being painted as some horrible troll monster. Is overruling him so beyond the pale here? Is it so "oh my gawwwwd"? No, not at all. It is completely reasonable -- indeed it is incumbent on the powers that be -- to overrule a GM who has made an irrational decision.

And at all of this, the Nats don't have Strasburg signed for 10 years/$250 million or something. They have him under control cheaply, and only for a few years, and he may leave when he reaches free agency anyway, and he may get hurt regardless of whether he pitches 160 innings or 200.
   193. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 14, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4236221)
My understanding was that doctors/surgeons consult as to (a) whether a pitcher is injured, (b) whether a pitcher is healthy following an injury/surgery so that he can resume pitching, and (c) having input into rehab programs.

Yes. Yes. Some; nothing remotely approaching hands-on.

I had a balky knee last winter, thought something was torn. Here's what the doctor did. Ordered an X-ray, ruled out arthritisish stuff. Ordered an MRI. Read the MRI. Reported no structural damage. Prescribed physical therapy.(*) Checked a few boxes on the physical therapy form, suggested a rehab length. Shook my hand. Wished me well. Got paid a lot of money.

The "question" posed in re Strasburg is the equivalent of me emailing the doctor and saying "Doc, everything's fine, I'm thinking of cutting down my fartlek workouts and playing more tennis. What do you think?" He'd humor me and say "Call the physical therapist." He'd forget the question and the call in about half a second. (Of course, if the question was posed together with the statement, "I'm doing it because my knee is hurting again," it's a different situation. That's not the Strasburg situation.)

(*) Which I did at a place that services a pain in the ass local hockey team that used to employ a defenseman who "SUCKS!!" There were numerous post-surgery rehabbers in there.





   194. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: September 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4236357)
These discussions would be far less frustrating without the comments like 'why not interrupt his season?', 'why not delay his season?', 'why not keep him as once-a-week pitcher?' or the Boras conspiracies or ray's post-modernist garbage of we-can't-know-anything-so-why-bother-trying-just-give-me-instant-gratification.
   195. PepTech Posted: September 15, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4236366)
Also, I supported the idea of firing Rizzo over this, but I also supported - at the same time - simply overruling Rizzo on this decision, so I don't know why I'm being painted as some horrible troll monster. Is overruling him so beyond the pale here? Is it so "oh my gawwwwd"? No, not at all. It is completely reasonable -- indeed it is incumbent on the powers that be -- to overrule a GM who has made an irrational decision.


Speaking only for myself, "horrible troll monster" is a little much; the only thing I have a problem with is that there's only your opinion that Rizzo is irrational. People smart enough to become GMs think differently than other people. They do inexplicable stuff sometimes. They probably have some reason that makes sense to them that we don't know about. I'm guessing that's the case here.

Then when you claim he's done some sort of irreparable harm and declare by fiat that he has messed up the future course of the franchise, and it doesn't even matter if they win the next 10 WS (starting this year), you sound a little kooky.

If owners go around publicly overruling GM decisions, don't you end up with Daniel Snyder and Peter Angelos? Perversely both teams are looking up at the moment, but you know what I mean.
   196. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4236403)
Comparing a guy off the street with a knee problem to a multimillion dollar pitcher is problematic. Also, I doubt that Rizzo called up Yocum on the phone one day and said "Should we shut down Strasburg at 160, would that help?" and Yocum said, "Not sure, but it couldn't hurt.". Strasburg is a huge asset for the Nationals. I would be very surprised if they (maybe not Rizzo himself, but at least staff members) didn't have quite a number of sessions with Yocum before and after the surgery. Of course, that is an assumption, but no more of an assumption that they just asked him a question one day and got a 2-second answer.

If I would make a guess, I would think that they got input from the doctors on the effect of pitching and constructed a scenario. In other words, they made an educated guess. Maybe Yocum said that in his experience he sees zero microtears over the first 50 innings that a guy pitches, starts to see them appear between 50 and 100, but it's not a concern. Between 100 and 150 the damage is more severe, but with normal usage it's not a concern. 150 to 100 is where you start to see more significant damage. Most pitchers get through it fine, and with a full offseason they recover just fine. But that's where the real danger zone is. The Nationals, hearing this, make a plan to shut him down between 160 and 180, depending on how he looks.

Now again, I'm not claiming I was in the room or this is exactly what happened. But if something similar to this happened, over several meetings, with example X-Rays, some data, and more specifics than I outlined here, then it would be reasonable to say that the Nationals have some reason to shut him down.

Why would you just assume that this didn't happen? We have Rizzo claiming the existence of a 50-page binder. We have Andrews and Yocum saying that they talked with the Nationals and are on board with the plan (not saying that they outlined it, suggested it, or planned it, just on board). So they are claiming that something like what I said happened. You can believe they are lying I suppose, in which case there's not much point in further discussion.

(I was also not aware that they consulted with Andrews on this, but maybe I just missed it.)

I am basing that statement on some quotes that SBB excerpted from a thread a week or so ago. The quotes clearly indicated that they had talked with Andrews and that he was supportive of the decision. It did say a lot of "in my opinion" kinds of statements, though. If those quotes were taken out of context, then I retract the Andrews part.
   197. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4236447)
I would be very surprised if they (maybe not Rizzo himself, but at least staff members) didn't have quite a number of sessions with Yocum before and after the surgery. Of course, that is an assumption, but no more of an assumption that they just asked him a question one day and got a 2-second answer.


I'd be surprised. In Yocum's first statement he said they hadn't spoken since last year, and even in his second statement he said they had "discussions," which are not "sessions."

If I would make a guess, I would think that they got input from the doctors on the effect of pitching and constructed a scenario. In other words, they made an educated guess. Maybe Yocum said that in his experience he sees zero microtears over the first 50 innings that a guy pitches, starts to see them appear between 50 and 100, but it's not a concern. Between 100 and 150 the damage is more severe, but with normal usage it's not a concern. 150 to 100 is where you start to see more significant damage. Most pitchers get through it fine, and with a full offseason they recover just fine. But that's where the real danger zone is. The Nationals, hearing this, make a plan to shut him down between 160 and 180, depending on how he looks.


Complete and total guesswork, with absolutely nothing to support it. Yocum said he hadn't spoken with Strasburg since spring training, so we know he wasn't monitoring Strasburg every 50 innings. So why would we assume that Yocum monitored other pitchers every 50 innings in order to form an opinion, if he wasn't even bothering to monitor Strasburg?

Why would you just assume that this didn't happen


Why would you just assume that it did? There is not a scintilla of evidence to support it.
   198. GuyM Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4236463)
More importantly, if they held Straburg back to save another 40 innings for the playoff, and then didn't make the playoffs or were bounced early, Strasburg's 2012 workload would be so low that it would require additional restrictions in 2013, since they want Strasburg to increase his workload by only ~40 innings next year.

Not to mention that the same people now supporting this plan would be excoriating Rizzo for having cost the Nats a post-season birth. "You have to maximize your chance of reaching the post-season before you arrogantly start planning your post-season rotation."

Then when you claim he's done some sort of irreparable harm and declare by fiat that he has messed up the future course of the franchise, and it doesn't even matter if they win the next 10 WS (starting this year), you sound a little kooky.

"Sound?"
   199. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4236467)
.

   200. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4236472)

These discussions would be far less frustrating without the comments like 'why not interrupt his season?', 'why not delay his season?', 'why not keep him as once-a-week pitcher?' or the Boras conspiracies or ray's post-modernist garbage of we-can't-know-anything-so-why-bother-trying-just-give-me-instant-gratification.


So if we all just agreed that Rizzo is, like, super awesome, these threads would be a lot more productive. While Andy might agree with that sentiment, I'm not sure they'd make for very lively discussion.

Not to mention that the same people now supporting this plan would be excoriating Rizzo for having cost the Nats a post-season birth. "You have to maximize your chance of reaching the post-season before you arrogantly start planning your post-season rotation."


I guess since I don't know that anyone's advocated saving 40 innings for the postseason, that is theoretically possible. But, generally speaking, I loathe the "same people" bullshit, one of the lamest tricks in the BTF bag. "If this alternate universe that has no chance of ever happening happens, then you guys would be arguing something completely different. ####### hypocrites."
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