At the start of spring training, general manger Mike Rizzo made it clear that Stephen Strasburg would have an innings limit, and would be shutdown after a certain amount of innings. Trying to protect their young ace, a year removed from Tommy John surgery, the date was set at September 12th. But after Strasburg’s last start, Rizzo decided to pull the plug earlier than his previously set date.
Now that Strasburg will not throw another pitch for the Washington Nationals for the rest of the year, it leaves people to wonder how the Nationals will do without their best pitcher.
It was not a good move by Rizzo to shut down Strasburg for the rest of the 2012 season. Here are three reasons why the Nationals will regret shutting Strasburg down:
Playoffs: It is the first time ever the Nationals are going to win their division, and be playing October baseball. They are now going into the playoffs without their best pitcher. Any person knows how pivotal good pitching is when playing October baseball. The Nationals do have a good rotation, but with Strasburg shut down, they just became thinner and gave their potential playoff opponent a big break not having to face Strasburg. They may have hurt their chances to go all the way.
It does nothing: Shutting down Strasburg does nothing to protect him. Yes he is just a year removed from Tommy John, but not letting him pitch does nothing to keep him from hurting himself again. Every single pitch thrown in the MLB could be a pitcher’s last pitch on the mound. Strasburg could comeback and hurt his arm again in spring training on his first pitch. Shutting him down does nothing to keep him from hurting himself again next year.
Missing the chance now: This is the Nationals year to do something now. There is no guarantee that the Nats will be just as good as they are now next year. Will a potential playoff appearance just a few weeks away, the Nationals just hurt their chances some not having Strasburg for playoffs. If the Nationals do not make the playoffs next year, and fall just short this year because of pitching, they will regret the decision more than ever.
John Czech is a writer for Rant Sports. Although he mainly writes about the Detroit Tigers, John also covers all of the MLB. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnCzech