Nats GM to decide when to shut down Strasburg
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told ESPN on Wednesday that he alone will make the final decision on when All-Star pitcher Stephen Strasburg has reached his innings limit.
Strasburg, who earned his first All-Star nod this season, is coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2011. Generally, following Tommy John surgery a pitcher will have a limited number of innings that he can pitch in the next season. Strasburg is no different.
One popular number being discussed is 160. When Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman underwent Tommy John surgery, he returned to pitch a solid 161.1 innings before being shut down. Now, one year removed from his innings limit, Zimmerman has pitched his way to a 2.35 ERA and a 7-6 record.
"There is no magic number," Rizzo said. "It will be the eye test. [Manager] Davey [Johnson] won't decide and ownership won't decide. It will be the general manager, and that's me."
The only problem with the Nationals shutting down Strasburg around 160 innings, is that Strasburg has already pitched 105 innings. With 90 games played, and a 53-37 record, the Nationals are just barely over the half-way point of the season.
Sitting in first place in the NL East, the Nationals will likely need their ace for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
"I said it recently, they'll have to rip the ball out of my hand, and I mean it," Strasburg said when asked about being shut down.
The 24-year-old currently has a 10-4 record with a 2.66 ERA through 18 starts.