The hot button issue in the Washington D.C area that doesn’t involve President Obama, the national debt or something with Congress, is centered on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals cautious approach to his innings.
Up to this point, it’s been a countdown to when he’ll be shut down. There has been rumors of pitch counts and total shut downs when it comes to Strasburg, who the Nationals want to preserve for a long and healthy career. The Nationals apparently are very serious about Starsburg being healthy for the future, and nothing confirms that more then Washington bailing on World Series aspirations with Strasburgh in 2012.
News came down today that if the Washington Nationals make the playoffs, Strasburg will not be on the playoff roster and will not pitch a single inning in the postseason.
— William Ladson (@washingnats) August 12, 2012
No one knows for sure just what Strasburg’s inning count is, and it’s been good MLB talking head fodder for the past month, but the Nationals have put some finality on the whole situation by taking Strasburg out of the playoffs before they even begin.
The Nationals currently hold a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the N.L. East, but unlike what some writers are saying, the decision to shut down Strasburg won’t be one that will be regretted for decades if the Nationals get bounced early in the postseason.
As USA Today writer Gabe Lacques points out, the Washington club hasn’t made the postseason since 1933, but unlike his other observation of decades of regret for shutting down Strasburg if it results in an early postseason exit, that’s highly unlikely.
Not the early postseason exit, but the years of regret. Right now, the Nationals are set up in the best position for long term success that they’ve ever been in with Bryce Harper and company still getting better. Forcing Strasburg into a situation that could damage him in the long term could possibly cripple the Nationals chances at a World Series down the road.
We will have to wait and see if all the limits on Strasburg are worth it, but the Nationals are planning for the future which is the first step towards being a real force int he MLB.