Stephen Strasburg won’t pitch in the playoffs


It was reported on Friday that Stephen Strasburg’s new innings limit for the season is 180.  Bill Ladson of has a source telling him that that is not accurate, and that there is not necessarily a magic number of innings. Rather:

The Nationals are expected to have right-hander Stephen Strasburg miss two or three regular-season starts, according to a baseball source.

Well enough. But here’s the jaw-dropper:

The same source went so far as to say Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason once he is shut down.

I’m all for taking care of your young pitching talent, but I’m sorry, I find that to be utterly mind-boggling.

One can say anything one wants about caution with respect to Strasburg’s health — and I hate to echo Jeff Francoeur’s wisdom when it comes to anything — but how do Mike Rizzo and the Nationals expect their fans to take it if, in Game 5 of the NLDS, the TBS cameras repeatedly show closeups of Strasburg sitting idly by in the dugout while Edwin Jackson gets lit up by the Cardinals or someone?

I guess they say they’re protecting their most valuable asset for a long and triumphant tomorrow. If so, they had better hope it actually comes. Because there’s certainly no guarantee of that.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.