Tommy John Sounds off on Stephen Strasburg's Innings Limit -

Tommy John Sounds off on Stephen Strasburg’s Innings Limit

Sporting a major league best 71-43 record, one of the top young outfield prospects, and one of the top pitchers in the league, the Washington Nationals have a lot going for them. What the Nationals also have though is one tough decision to make.

What do they do with pitcher Stephen Strasburg as he comes back from last seasons Tommy John surgery?

It has been the hot topic around the league for much of the season and the plan is that the team, which has placed an inning limit on Strasburg, will shut him down for roughly the last month of the season. It looks like they won’t go with 160 innings like the team did last year with Jordan Zimmerman so the team will most likely stick with the 180 inning mark like they have said. Currently at 133.1 innings with 166 strikeouts, fans are starting to wonder if the Nationals are doing the right thing with the 24-year-old ace.

In a recent interview with The Hall of Very Good, former major league pitcher Tommy John was quoted as saying that the only way he was able to get back to full strength following his Tommy John surgery years ago was to throw, everyday.

“After I had (Tommy John surgery), the only way we knew to get my arm stronger was to throw,” John said on the site. “So I threw everyday. And the more I threw… the better my arm felt.”

John went on to say that following his surgery, he never missed another start for his career and said it was because of his continuous throwing.

“If I was Strasburg, I’d be lobbying to pitch,” John said. “What you play for all season is to pitch in the postseason.”

No, John is not a doctor and has not monitored Strasburg and his progress since the surgery, but he has been in Strasburg’s shoes. (Which is more than the team doctors can say.)

So, should the team shut him down? Sort of.

While it may be a mistake, it’s time that the team simply allows him to skip a start once in a while in order to pitch out the rest of the season and likely when the Nationals make the MLB Playoffs.



  1. John
    August 12, 2012 - 

    That new ligament from his non-pitching arm has never pitched. It is not conditioned or strengthened enough at this point to over exert him. If you want to keep Strasberg pitching at this level for several years, sit him down and stick to the plan. Its better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Markus
    August 15, 2012 - 

    I have been on Strasburg’s side of this argument from Day 1. I love that he is fighting to stay on the mound to help his team. Let’s remember the other players involved here, management is screwing them over for their hard work based on one guy. Former Atlanta Braves legendary pitching coach Leo Mazzone (yes pitching coaches can be legendary especially if they have Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux) is currently on Mike & Mike in the Morning and he called the situation “pathetic” and if he were Strasburg he would go to a different team. The Nationals could make it to the World Series for crying out loud. The time is now for the Nats, go all in. Push your chips to the middle of the table. Show the players and fans that you’re trying to win it all right now.

    Side sports psychology note: players get injured because they for things that can injure them. I don’t believe in someone being injury prone (see Tracy McGrady, he just did things while playing basketball that resulted in him getting injured like landing. He wasn’t the only player to blow out his knee from doing that ((Chris Webber, Derrick Rose)). So Strasburg, being a pitcher, runs the risk of being injured based on the nature of his position. He could take a line drive off his head or go to cover first base on a slow grounder to first and pull his hamstring. He could injure his shoulder and need rotator cuff surgery, this stuff can’t be predicted and is unavoidable based on the nature of sports especially for pitchers who put tremendous amounts of stress on their throwing arms. Anyways I hope he keeps playing

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