The Stephen Strasburg Shut Down Plan And Other MLBullets

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg sits in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Everybody's working for the weekend. Except baseball players, who work on the weekends.

  • The plan to shut down Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg once he'd reached about 160 innings has been controversial for some time now. Of course, when it was first announced, it was much more casually accepted. That's because it was originally announced before the season - you know, before Strasburg was absolutely obliterating the baseball landscape, and before the Nationals were expected to be near contention, let alone leading the NL East (handily). So, when that controversy set in, it's been fair to wonder whether the Nats would actually stick to the plan. After all, the reason they want to protect Strasburg is to help win future championships, but they might have one laying out right in front of them this year. On the other hand, the 24-year-old (today is his birthday, actually) is still just a couple years removed from Tommy John surgery, and trotting him out there past 160 innings could be a penny wise, pound foolish strategy. GM Mike Rizzo says the shut down plan remains in effect, even if he no longer espouses a particular innings limit. And once Strasburg is shut down, he isn't coming back in September or for the playoffs. Good plan? Bad plan? Makes you wonder if the Nats wouldn't mind picking up a quality veteran starter at the deadline, even if their rotation otherwise looks full.

Brett Taylor is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and a Contributor here at Bleed Cubbie Blue.

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