For the entire Major League Baseball season we’ve all known that Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg would be shut down at some point. Now we finally have a timeline for when that will happen.
Washington had long resisted publicly announcing a specific date or innings mark where they would cut their 24-year-old pitcher down. But before Thursday night’s game with the St. Louis Cardinals manager Davey Johnson claimed that Strasburg has two or three starts left.
Strasburg is in his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Johnson informed Strasburg of the decision on the plane from Miami to St. Louis. The Nationals currently have a 5.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
Washington’s manager told reporters the following about Strasburg Thursday:
“He might pitch 10 innings in one game, or he might just go five. And no, I’m not going to drag it out and give him seven days between starts, either.”
In his last outing against the Miami Marlins, Strasburg had his worst start of the season. He surrendered nine hits, seven runs (five earned) and one home run, while walking one and striking out three in five innings. He took the loss and dropped to 15-6 on the season, while his ERA rose to 3.05.
There has been speculation that Strasburg is tiring, as he has now thrown 150.1 innings this season. His previous career-high in the big leagues was 68 innings in 2010.
Whatever happens, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing Stephen Strasburg much longer this season.