Tag: Stephen Strasburg

Sandy Alderson

Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey


Earlier today we learned that the Mets and Scott Boras are in the midst of a dispute over Matt Harvey’s workload down the stretch. Boras thinks that Harvey should be shut down at 180 innings — he’s currently at 166 — and the Mets believing that his workload was never subject to a hard innings cap and that Boras bringing that up now is out of bounds.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this, of course. The Washington Nationals had a young ace, Stephen Strasburg, coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2012. The Nats said early and often that year that Strasburg, also a Boras client, was subject to a hard innings cap. And he was. They shut him down, he wasn’t available for the playoffs and to this day many people blame that shutdown for the Nats’ failure to advance. Heck, some people even blamed the shutdown on the Nats’ subsequent struggles in the next season.

I was not a big fan of Strasburg’s shutdown, but it’s unreasonable to suggest that his shutdown was the reason the Nats failed to advance in the playoffs (they had much bigger problems and the guy who took his place in the rotation pitched pretty darn well). The notion that the Nats 2013 problems were the result of the shutdown is downright ludicrous. But it did become a big story that sucked up a lot of oxygen that late summer and early fall and people still talk about it today. They’ll no doubt be comparing the Harvey situation to the Strasburg situation in the coming days and weeks, depending on how it’s handled.

But however that shakes out, it seems that Sandy Alderson is not going to take the path Mike Rizzo took and won’t be getting on Scott Boras’ train any time soon:


Nor would I, assuming I had a plan in place to begin with. Which Alderson said he did and which only now Boras is second guessing.

With the caveat — a big caveat — that in no instance would it be wise to ignore doctors along the way, If I were Alderson, I’d be pretty loathe to give Boras the time of day on this stuff. I’d talk to my pitcher and ask him his thoughts and, assuming he’s wired the same way every other athlete is wired, I’d assume he’d be on board with doing whatever is in the Mets’ best interests to win a championship this year. Which is totally within this team’s grasp.

That doesn’t mean being reckless or pitching him too much. Heck, the Mets have a big lead at the moment and can afford to skip him or rest him quite a bit. But it certainly doesn’t mean shutting down one of the best young pitchers in the game simply because his agent wants you to.

Stephen Strasburg expected to return for series against Mets next week

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Stephen Strasburg is having his turn skipped this Friday against the Braves after he came out his most recent start last Sunday with discomfort in his upper back, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNMidAtlantic.com reports that he’s on track to return for a crucial series against the first-place Mets next week.

After throwing off flat ground on Tuesday and Wednesday, Strasburg made it through a bullpen session this afternoon with no pain. The plan calls for him to make his return in the series finale against the Mets next Wednesday, with Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmerman pitching in the first two games.

Strasburg has been much more like his usual self since June, but he showed a noticeable dip in velocity in his start against the Marlins last Sunday while allowing four runs on four hits (including two home runs) over four innings. The Nationals will have to hope that the time off did him some good.

Stephen Strasburg ruled out Friday with upper back issue

Stephen Strasburg

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was pulled after four rough innings Sunday against the Marlins with discomfort in his upper back, and now the issue is going to cost him his next rotation turn.

Tanner Roark will be recalled from High-A Potomac to pitch in place of Strasburg Friday against the Braves, per CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman. Strasburg has been able to play catch the last two days without issue, but the Nationals want to see him pitch off a mound before they clear him to return and he won’t do that until Thursday.

Strasburg could pitch at some point this weekend versus Atlanta if the mound workout does go well.

Washington entered play Wednesday with a 6 1/2 game deficit in the National League East standings.

A four-game weekend set with the 54-79 Braves should provide an opportunity to gain some ground.