Mike Rizzo once said that Stephen Strasburg would be capped at 160 innings this year. Then he said that he’d be subject to some non-specific innings limit, governed by “the eye test,” whatever that means. Now something somewhat more specific:
I still have to believe that this is all subject to change depending on the Nats making the playoffs, which they seem a really good bet to do, and going deep in the playoffs which, with Strasburg, they have to be favored to do.
If Rizzo shuts down Strasburg and he’s not available for critical starts either down the stretch or in October, he’d be crucified.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.