The Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg are a match made in heaven, only all of a sudden, we have conflicting reports on whether or not Strasburg is on a team-imposed innings limit of 160.
Strasburg told MLB Network Radio the following:
“They’re going to have to rip the ball out of my hands, I have no clue how many innings I’m going to throw this year. I’ve answered that question multiple times, and nobody’s said anything to me. I feel great right now.”
This is news to most Nationals fans, who have been hearing from different outlets that Strasburg will be shut down at a certain point during the season. In spring training, general manager Miko Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson indicated Strasburg will have an innings cap, but never said what that limit would be.
Back in April, Nationals general manager said the 160 number came from somewhere, but not from anyone in the organization.
“Look, the media put (the 160-innings limit) out there, not me. it probably comes from what Jordan Zimmerman pitched last year. I don’t have a specific pitch count in my mind, a specific innings count in my mind. I am going to refer to my experience as a farm director, as a player development guy, and knowing his body. In conjunction with Davey Johnson and (pitching coach) Steve McCatty, when we feel he’s had enough, we’re going to shut him down”
The inning he just threw at the All-Star game was his 100th of the season.
The Nationals will have a decision to make with their All-Star pitcher very soon. They currently sit first in the National League East, with a legit chance of bringing playoff baseball back to Washington for the first time since 1933.
The other members of the rotation, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler, are all having fine seasons, but in the playoffs, they need Strasburg. In his career, Strasburg has never thrown more than 123 innings in any season, at any level, but maybe this year, since they’re so close, they keep him on the mound and not off it.