Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Waiting on Stephen Strasburg

Morning roundup

It was fitting the Washington Nationals' only victory during this past weekend's series came in the second game in Stephen Strasburg's third start since coming off the disabled list. At least the Nationals were able to take away some good news in a series in which they had to battle Roy Halladay on Friday and then Roy Oswalt yesterday.

Strasburg gave up just one run and two hits over 4 1/3 innings in his start on Saturday before leaving unexpectedly with discomfort in the flexor tendon in his right forearm. He was scheduled to have an MRI exam yesterday.

There was considerable speculation Strasburg would be done for the season after he clearly was in distress after throwing a 1-1 changeup to Domonic Brown with one out in the fifth inning. Nationals management, however, is not ready to concede Strasburg's season just yet.

Results of the MRI exam are expected to be revealed today, and if tests are negative, he'll probably miss just his next start scheduled for Thursday and come back to the mound for the following start.

That at least would give Nationals fans something to cheer about heading into next season, when perhaps the club could be more competitive down the stretch rather than simply playing out the string.

What's more, the pitching staff probably will get another boost when Jordan Zimmermann is called up to the big leagues in the coming weeks. That could give the Nationals a glimpse toward what the rotation could resemble next season, when young, hard-throwing starters are the star attraction.

FROM THE POST

Dave Sheinin writes more on Strasburg and his injured flexor tendon.

The Nationals have no answers for Roy Oswalt in yesterday's 6-0 loss.

By Gene Wang  |  August 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yunesky Maya's day in Potomac
Next: Today's lineups

Comments

The Nats will "play it by ear" even if they do decide to shut him down for the year with a minor ailment. They don't want to put a damper on ticket sales.

It was pretty apparent it wasn't a serious injury right away. Change grip and kid wanted to stay in.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If I recall back in spring training Boz was saying SS didn't have a big league changeup and needed to develop one. Well he did, but maybe a little too good for his arm to handle.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If they give Strasburg the full 'velvet glove treatment' the Org. will shut him down; If they want to continue set him up for 2010, they might skip a turn in the rotation, continuing toward 160IP for the year.

Either way, if Rizzo is cunning as well as smart, he's probably not the Opening Day starter in 2010, imo. The Org. might start him 'soft' as a #2-3, and let him work toward 180+IP over the course of the season.

Just my 2-cents worth...

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

No links to the Minors?

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The Nats will "play it by ear" even if they do decide to shut him down for the year with a minor ailment. They don't want to put a damper on ticket sales.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 11:40 AM

How many times do we have to go over this?

A) Strasburg is no longer a significant boost to tickets sales. See: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS201008150.shtml

B) The word everywhere is that he'll miss the start Thursday - maybe not even pitch for the rest of the season. How is that helping ticket sales?

C) The team is under no obligation from the league to confirm or deny probably starters or guarantee that they'll throw. He's not listed on the probable schedule for Thursday... http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/probable_pitchers/index.jsp?c_id=was

D) If he skips a start, the next one will probably be in Florida against the Marlins - so I guess this is just a conspiracy to reward Jeffrey Loria.

E) If someone is still buying future tickets just to see the celebrity Strasburg while he has arm soreness and an inning limit, then they deserve to "lose" their money.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Any idea what it would mean for any innings limit next year if they shut him down for this season? I thought they were using a formula of 1.2 times the previous season's total innings (a 20% increase from year to year). If they shut him down as Boswell suggests they should, isn't that reducing the number of innings he will be "allowed" next season?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | August 23, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Doug, it probably would, you're right, although that may be moot if he spends two months a year in protective custody.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Livan on Opening Day! I like it.
Once more, for old times' sake!
***************
Either way, if Rizzo is cunning as well as smart, he's probably not the Opening Day starter in 2010, imo. The Org. might start him 'soft' as a #2-3, and let him work toward 180+IP over the course of the season.
Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2010 12:01 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I've got it! Strasburg can play nose tackle, and Haynesworth can take his place in the Nationals rotation. Two problems solved!

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | August 23, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Doug / Sec3, agreed. The formula used by the Nats and many other teams is 20% year over year. And this is one reason why they don't ant to shut him down now.

Also, recall that he had a bad to terrible outing after his last layoff. Presuming he starts again about Tuesday 8/31, he'll have had 9 days rest between starts, and only 14 inning pitched in the previous 40 days.

I'm betting he has poor command when he does pitch next, and this could lead to overthrowing and more injury.

IMHO, for all concerned, he'd be better of pitching next for Syracuse or Harrisburg on a rehab assignment, where he can focus on mechanics and command and be less concerned about winning or losing and be less likely to overthrow.

The only thing important in the rest of Strasburg's season is that he gets the increased workload behind him without hurting himself. He's more likely to do that with a rehab start and coming back again Sept 5 against Pittsburg.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah kev. He's not a significant boost to ticket sales. Not at all.

Yes, and saying he' s done for the year wouldn't have any affect on attendance. I'm sure those excess strasburg t shirts would go at the same rate when he's not pitching, too.

Can you get me a job with you at the park, kev?

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah kev. He's not a significant boost to ticket sales. Not at all.

Yes, and saying he' s done for the year wouldn't have any affect on attendance. I'm sure those excess strasburg t shirts would go at the same rate when he's not pitching, too.

Can you get me a job with you at the park, kev?

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, if he is bringing them in, a lot of them are wearing those empty-chair costumes.
We're seeing the right side of the curve here, maybe the tail.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

CJ, you just haven't been to the ballpark for the last couple of Strasburg starts, have you? He does not any longer come close to selling the place out, by a long shot. That's even clear if you look at the games on TV.

We keep saying this over and over, and you keep talking about all those tickets he's selling, like he's really selling them. In Philadelphia, maybe, but not in DC.

And BinM, I imagine Strassy will have to step into the time machine and battle Johnny "Rocket" Lannan for that 2010 Opening Day slot. ;-)

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

kev, I agree with you on this one. Hard to see how Strasburg boosts ticket sales when nobody knows exactly when he's going to pitch again. And the sellout frenzy had already gone away, anyway.

Meanwhile, I would very much like to see J. Zimmermann make his return in Strasburg's place on Thursday. A little karma in there somewhere...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg might still get some ticket sales traction on the road, but at home he's done. The 'event-driven' attendence has all probably moved to Redskins games for the remainder of the year.

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Actually I have season tickets Dave, went up to Phily yesterday, and am well aware what a sellout is.

While Strasburg hasn't sold the game out since Atlanta (Batista), he still represents a very significant increase in attendance.

To deny that is silly.

And its not "common knowledge" Strasburg won't make his next start--I must have missed the official announcement on that. Just like that MRI is sure taking some time...

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Last time I saw a big crowd at a Strasburg game was when he got scratched for Miss Iowa Batista.

All the "I-went-to-the-Naturals-game-so-I-could-see-Joe-Strasbird pitch" people have done so. People who are going to the games now are the real fans and the I-want-a-Pudge-bobblehead" people.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 23, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

CJ, I think these are the questions that shoot down your argument: who is going to go out of their way to buy an advance ticket to see Strasburg pitch right now?

What would the Nationals say that would cause people to buy advance tickets?

And what proof do you have that they've done this in the past? That first rumor about the first start coming three days or so before it did?

Have they done that since then?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying it's some grand, pre-ordained plan. I'm saying the Nats are in no hurry to rule him out or make a concrete decision.

Balt, they can 15-him, and then next homeland they can announce his return without announcing the day.

I admit you are correct that much fewer people than 2 months ago will be influenced to buy in advance, however.

The main thing is not announcing him gone for the year as long as possible if injury or caution demands it. To thevcasual fan, "they were crappy even with strasburg why should we go now" is ABSOLUTELY a consideration....

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Actually I have season tickets Dave, went up to Phily yesterday, and am well aware what a sellout is.

While Strasburg hasn't sold the game out since Atlanta (Batista), he still represents a very significant increase in attendance.

To deny that is silly.

And its not "common knowledge" Strasburg won't make his next start--I must have missed the official announcement on that. Just like that MRI is sure taking some time...

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 1:59 PM

Sunday, Aug 9 2009
Washington (40-72) vs Arizona (50-62)
SP: JD Martin
19,938

Sunday, Aug 15 2010
Washington (51-67) vs Arizona (47-72)
SP: Strasburg
21,695

1,757 extra tickets sold. BFD.

Also, I never used the phrase "common knowledge" - nor would I ever, but that's beside the point. Many widely used media outlets (Post, Boswell, ESPN, etc) are speculating that he will miss a start. The Nats are not denying that he will miss a start. How is that good from the Nats perspective if they're trying to sell more tickets to see The Great Jeezus Strasburg?

Strasburg home game attendances this season...

Jun 8 PIT 40,315
Jun 18 CHW 40,325
Jun 23 KC 31,913 (weekday afternoon)
Jul 3 NYM 39,214
Jul 9 SF 34,723
** Scratched start ** Jul 27 CWS 40,043
Aug 10 FLA 25,939
Aug 15 ARI 21,695

Hmmm, do you not notice the downward trend since the shoulder stiffness night? Wait, wasn't that supposed to be a conspiracy to sell more tickets for other games? Looks like that backfired on the Nats because fewer people in the area are buying tickets to see him pitch now. Probably because a lot of them figured out that ALL STARTING PITCHERS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ARE PROBABLE. Actually, sales were starting to go down if you look at the Giants game too. People who show up to see one hyped celebrity play usually have the attention span of a Cocker Spaniel.

Of course you'll probably continue to digress into specifics of attendance numbers, teams we played, yadda yadda because your original point that the team is manipulating Strasburg injuries and reports to sell more tickets makes about as much sense as another hole in the head.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

** Scratched start ** Jul 27 CWS 40,043

That should be Jul 27 ATL 40,043

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I stopped reading right away when you said Sunday august 9th versus Arizona andthen Sunday august 15th--both versus the dbacks apparently.

I am not disputing the strasburg luster has faded some. But if you think Martin equals strasburg attendance, well then, sure, whatever.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

And let me know when the NATS announce Strasburg out, not when Boswell or ESPN speculate it.

I'll give you a hint, it won't be tonight.

Wow you'd think an MRI from yestetday would be available by now. Hmm.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I stopped reading right away when you said Sunday august 9th versus Arizona andthen Sunday august 15th--both versus the dbacks apparently.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:06 PM

*Different seasons*, basically the same game (Sunday, dead of August, non-competitive teams, slim to no away team fans) - very marginal attendance gain for Strasburg over last season. Think of it as Value Over Replacement Game - VORG.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Do you Remember there WAS A DRIVING RAIN all morning against the dbacks this year Sunday? Think that had anything to do with it???

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

And let me know when the NATS announce Strasburg out, not when Boswell or ESPN speculate it.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:11 PM

OK, let me know when he's listed as the probable pitcher. The Cardinals had no problem telling us that their ace is scheduled for Thursday

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/probable_pitchers/index.jsp?c_id=was

Or just continue to be dead wrong.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Of course you'll probably continue to digress into specifics of attendance numbers, teams we played, yadda yadda because your original point that the team is manipulating Strasburg injuries and reports to sell more tickets makes about as much sense as another hole in the head.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 3:52 PM

Do you Remember there WAS A DRIVING RAIN all morning against the dbacks this year Sunday? Think that had anything to do with it???

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:17 PM

WEATHER EXCUSE -DING DING DING!

Expecting 19,000 walk-ups that day?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess Major League Baseball (official web site) isn't backing the Lerner/Kasten/Rizzo conspiracy to sell tickets...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100823&content_id=13821414&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Strasburg likely headed back to DL
08/23/10 3:30 PM ET

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

There would have been significantly better attendance without the driving rain that morning. Which makes your analogy pointless and stupid.

You just let me know when the Nats rush out the announcement he's out for the year...I'm the first to admit when
I'm wrong...

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

There would have been significantly better attendance without the driving rain that morning. Which makes your analogy pointless and stupid.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 4:34 PM

You mean like the 25k on a gorgeous night vs the Marlins just a week before that? Sure, that's worth conspiring over and deliberately dragging your feet over an injury announcement.

All MLB injuries take time to figure out and guys sometimes take multiple days before going on the DL. Looks like Stras will be on the DL tomorrow - kind of like he was after the Atlanta "couldn't get warm" game. That night Rizzo spoke with the media after the game, told us what the early diagnosis was and then they put him on the DL a day and a half later. Seems pretty par for the MLB course to me.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 23, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

That's of course true (except for the part that they've put him on the DL, just "likely") Alot of MLB injuries do take a while to figure out--in fact the Nats still haven't figured out some (see Flores). You certainly don't want to misdiagnose anything or rush a guy back prematurely.

What I am saying is that the Nats will not rush to officially announce him out Thursday even if thats what theyve decided to do. (Again, let me know when its official).

And, if theyve decided to shut him down for the year (like Boswell suggests) you can bet your ice we wont get that official news until well, well, well, after they have decided it.

Its just common sense. It aint no secret conspiracy. Its just common sense. Why you seem to be offended that this is obviously the case is beyond me.

Posted by: CJArlington | August 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company