The Washington Nationals are on pace to wrap up the Eastern Divisional crown for the very first time this season. They are a very solid team in all areas of the game. A major reason for their success is the work of their young hard throwing righthander Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg is 15-6, has an ERA of 3.05 and 186 strikeouts. He is also going to be shut down very soon.
The plan of the Washington Nationals has been all along to put Strasburg on the shelf after about 160-170 innings pitched. The reason, just in case you haven’t been paying a bit of attention to the biggest story of the season, is that Strasburg is a year removed from Tommy John surgery. Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo has been consistent and steadfast in his decision to take Strasburg out of the lineup. He is willing to take the heat from the naysayers and the recourse of his actions.
I think, regardless of how the decision pays off for the Nationals, that Rizzo is making absolutely the correct decision. The Nationals have invested a lot of time and money (roughly $4.8M this season) in Strasburg. He has a bright future with the Nationals and to risk the long term benefits, just for a possible short term benefit just doesn’t make sense to me. I can guarantee you one thing, if the naysayers and the “old school” fans were paying Strasburg $4.8M this season alone, they would be singing a different tune. He’s a BIG investment and one that must be protected, just like all big investments.
The Washington Nationals have made their decision regarding Strasburg. I hope they stick to that decision, because it’s the right one. There is no telling how the season will turn out with or without Strasburg, but you have to assess the risk/reward factor, and the risk is just too high.