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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strasburg-a-matics

Touched down in Tennessee, where tomorrow I will watch the marvelous and talented Christie Weaver graduate from UT Law. I'm biased - she is the girlfriend of My Son The Braves Fan. Though she has brutal taste in men, she is not a Braves fan. Another point in her favor.

The key point? I had eight hours of driving today, most of them with my wife asleep. So I had plenty of time to think. Never good.

Guess what I've been thinking about, pretty much since I saw Jee-SUS' line from last night's start for Syracuse?

I'm now firmly in the why wait camp. Let's do it. Sunday a week, against the Orioles.

Go to my blog roll on the right and there's lots and lots of guys who are smarter than I am and closer to the team, etc., who have written about this today. All make excellent points.

Here's mine - do we really need more proof he's ready? And screw the economics of it all. I never really understood the specifics but I understood they were there and they were important and I was all behind the Nats' decision from a business standpoint. I was willing to wait until June.

Now, let's look at the standings. Yes, that's the Nats at 19-15. It is so early, you will say. Is it? The season is darn near a quarter over. We're about out of early (40 games) and into midseason (the next 80). And the whole thing could blow up in our faces and the Nats could lose 100 again.

Or? They could keep this up, be staring at 90 wins and a wild card spot. What was once laughable is now not such a joke.

Could 2-3 extra starts by Strasburg mean 2-3 extra victories? Given what he's done thus far, it is reasonable. Is it also reasonable the Nats could be within a game or two of the wild card in late September? Ho ho ho, you say? Not so fast. While you laugh, would you have thought 19-15 at this point given the early schedule? If your hand is in the air, you are a stew-mouthed liar (or an actual National).

The decision that was made was right in March. This is May and it is a changed ballgame. Get him up here after his next start and let the Orioles be the first major-league team (in a real game) to see what Jee-SUS is all about.

PLEASE.

12 comments:

Shraf said...

Agree.

The decision for the Braves to delay Tommy Hanson's promotion last year probably cost them a wild-card spot since they were filling that 5th rotation spot with Jo-Jo Reyes/Kris Medlen.

Ryan said...

I'll gladly eat these words in September, but the Nats ain't making the playoffs with or without The Man. Just ain't happening. And it's not worth $18 million or whatever to bring him up just in case they're in the hunt. Too unpredictable. Bad business.

Give The Man a couple more starts, let him go 7 or 8 innings in each (unless he's getting hammered) and THEN bring him up.

It was a smart move in March. It's a smart move now. Nothing's changed.

Tennessee, huh? Watch your six.

MissChatter said...

I say wait. We don't need him right now, really. A couple more weeks isn't going to hurt anyone. I mean, we're in the WC position!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

Agree with the ever agreeable Miss Chatter. We need the extra money to convince the "maybe they're still cheap" Lerners to do the right thing in the upcoming draft and free agent/trade market. Seeing Strasburg cool off hot Cincinatti or feast on Pittsburgh will be enough to cool your fevered brow, Mike.

Now, in the case of Storen, bring him up now!! Bull Pen needs his talents--Store Clip & Save!!

Anonymous said...

No. Here's why. Strasburg is not a bottomless pit from which the Nats can draw this season. He needs to have a hard cap on the number of innings he pitches this year. Smarter men than you and I can figure out the exact number of innings he should be allowed to pitch this year, but even the dumbest idiot around knows that the innings cap should and must exist. His innings need to be limited, and the only place that can be done is in the minors. Once he's brought up, the pressure to keep him in the game if it's a tight one in the 7th will be enormous. They'll no longer be able to pull him out of the game if he has a no-no going after six. They won't be able to stretch him out by giving him an extra day between starts like they are starting to do now. Also, as Rizzo has said an inning pitched in the minors is just not as stressful as one pitched in the majors. That's true.

It's not about getting all you can out of Strasburg this season, it's about getting all you can out of him for the next six years (or longer). He's like one of those diet plans that supplies you with the food you're supposed to eat for the day or the week. (Jenny Craig?) You don't scarf it all down for breakfast on the first day, even though your body tells you to. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Same will be true of Riggleman once he has the chance to put Strasburg on the mound. You want him pitching in September? Then limit his innings now. It's the only way.

DoubleH said...

As much as I'd love him to pitch next Sunday vs. the O's as I've got tickets, I say stick to the plan. There's only 20 games or 7 series until the Reds come to town on 6/4. Let's ignore a couple of two game series to keep the math simple and just assume they lose every series. That puts them at 6-14 over the next 20 or 26-29 for the season. I don't know about you, but that would exceed my wildest expectations coming into the season, keep my eyes on the tube and my butt in the seats into the late season.

Carter said...

Mike -

The most compelling reason to wait is something Jon Heyman wrote on si.com. Apparently Jee-sus has a 100 IP cap in the Bigs this year. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/04/28/pujols.contract/index.html

If we actually contend (dare I say it), we want to save some innings for September. Call him up early and we'll be ticked whn he's shut down before Labor Day.

Carter said...

Whoops. Link got snipped.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/04/28/pujols.contract/index.html

Carter said...

Just google it.

Ryan said...

If they call him up early and he hits 100 IP or whatever may or may not be his limit before the end of the season -- and they're in the chase for the wild card -- they ain't shutting him down. Zippy chance.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently Jee-sus has a 100 IP cap in the Bigs this year. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman"

Rizzo was asked about this specifically once, and he categorically denied it. No truth to it at all. Sorry I don't have a reference for that, but it happened.

MikeHarris said...

Carter - are you as bad as I am with links? I'll google it.