I’ve been taken to task from a former player for wanting players to push themselves into the risk of injury for the sake of sports…and I get it. And I get why Strasburg is going to get shut down. He’s not just young, he’s coming off Tommy John surgery.
But…playoffs. If you’re not playing for playoffs, what are you playing for? Aren’t there ways to preserve a young arm while allowing one of the team’s best players to play in the playoffs?
Frankly, I don’t think there’s any way that Strasburg misses the playoff. The ownership and management will waffle and change their minds at the last minute. But if you’re going to protect a young player’s arm, it’d be a lot smarter to have a plan now, like a low pitch count towards the end of the season to pace him, rather than say “180 and you’re done…unless we choose that you’re not.” That helps nobody.
It’s always fun to look at the Nationals, even the league-leading Nationals, and think of them as the bumbling Expos. But not when they’re gambling with a player’s health through bull-headed stubbornness rather than adapting to new situations (like actually making the playoffs).