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)
1 Comment

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.

Stephen Strasburg pulled after four rough innings on Sunday with discomfort in upper back

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg had his worst start since May on Saturday against the lowly Marlins, yielding four earned runs on seven hits. Washington did win the game 7-4 to maintain its 5 1/2 game deficit in the National League East standings, but more bad news about Strasburg came forward Sunday evening …

His status for next weekend’s series against the Braves is unclear at this time. Strasburg entered Sunday’s outing versus Miami with a shiny 1.73 ERA and 32/3 K/BB ratio over his last four starts (26 innings).

The 27-year-old missed most of July with an oblique strain and most of June with a trapezius strain.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Houston Astros v New York Yankees

Astros 15, Yankees 1: The Astros beating the hell out of the Yankees is the secondary story here. The primary story is the benches clearing after the Yankees took issue with Carlos Gomez’s deportment. Sure, Gomez and Evan Gattis both homered and drove in four runs and sure Dallas Keuchel got his 15th win, but this happened too:


Which is absolutely dumb. The Yankees were mad at Gomez for being upset that he popped out. And after the game Joe Girardi actually said Gomez should “play the game the right” and to “show some professionalism.” This from the guy managing the bench where dudes not even playing in the game were barking at Gomez. Much the same came from Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy — “there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game,” he said. Dude is 24. We’ve covered that kind of thing a bunch of times around here and I’ll have a bigger post on it later, but it’s beyond stupid. If the behavior of a guy on a team with a big lead bugs you, maybe don’t get your asses beat so bad by that team and it’ll never come up. How about YOU play the game the right way? Like literally correctly and in a fashion where you aren’t losing by a ton and thus quick to anger at any perceived slight?

Nationals 8, Padres 3: The Nationals got some offense — a Ryan Zimmerman grand slam chief among them — and Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs over six. Entering play last night the Nationals were only a game or so closer to a playoff spot than the Padres by the way. And they didn’t make up any ground on the Mets because . . .

Mets 6, Phillies 5: . . . the wheels fell off for Jerome Williams and Jeanmar Gomez in the sixth inning allowing the Mets to rally. Things got testy here too when, in the seventh, Hansel Robles quick-pitched Darin Ruf, causing Jeff Francoeur and the Phillies to bark and Larry Bowa to get ejected. Bowa got his money’s worth too:


Quick pitch politics are far more rare than bat-flip and frustration politics. So rare, in fact, that not even everyone knows the rules. Get this:

“I was surprised they were mad about it,” Robles said through an interpreter. “The batter was in the box and the umpire pointed to me.”

Said [Terry] Collins, “Until they make the (quick) pitch illegal, you can do it.”

It is illegal, Terry!

Rule 8.01(b) Comment: With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball. See Rule 8.05(e) Comment.

. . .

Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

Oh well.

Angels 8, Tigers 7: Man, what got into everyone last night? Bad vibes all around. Jered Weaver was seen yelling in the dugout after Mike Trout lost a ball in the lights. He also hit a batter and, a couple batters later, it looked like Miguel Cabrera was sort of pointing at him and taunting although that wasn’t 100% clear. In any event, Weaver pitched poorly but good enough to win as the Angels blew a 4-0 lead but then piled four more on. And Trout atoned for that ball he lost in the lights:

Indians 11, Brewers 6: Michael Brantley homered twice and Josh Tomlin survived giving up three homers of his own and got his first win at Progressive Field in a dog’s age.

Rockies 5, Braves 1: Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia had a couple of big hits right after he came up. But between is defense and the impending arrival of Hector Olivera, his days are numbered. Nights in which he commits three errors allowing four unearned runs merely hasten that process along. It was Atlanta’s 12th loss in 15 games. Wheeeeeee!

Dodgers 5, Reds 1: The Dodgers snap a five-game losing streak thanks to Alex Wood taking a shutout into the sixth inning and JimmyRollins and Justin Turner each hitting two-run home runs. The Dodgers turned three double plays behind Wood too, making life easier.

Marlins 5, Pirates 2: Dee Gordon stole four bases, reaching on a couple of infield hits. He’s also still batting .333 on the year which I wouldn’t have guessed. Haven’t paid that much attention to him since his hot start and since the Marlins feel out of relevance early in the year. I’ll be damned. Our friend Old Gator pointed out to me that in the 7th inning the Marlins had a triple, a walk and four stolen bases – and they scored zero runs that inning. That’s pretty hard to do, one assumes.

Twins 11, Rays 7: That’s five straight wins for the Twins, who are only a half game out of the wild card. Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario homered.

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 5: Down by one in the ninth the Blue Jays rallied for two and the win. Troy Tulowitzki had three hits, including the game-tying RBI single in the ninth. The go-ahead run scored on an Adrian Beltre throwing error. Which, man, you don’t see that sort of thing happen too dang often.

White Sox 5, Red Sox 4: Sox win. Trayce Thompson drove in three runs. He was a homer shy of the cycle. He was called up at the beginning of the month and has gone 12-for-23 in part time play. The White Sox rattled off 15 hits in all.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Kansas City had a 3-0 lead after three innings and it held up. Leads hold up, even early leads with small margins, when you got Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis going for you. They didn’t even need Greg Holland. Ho-hum, Kansas City fans say, when do the playoffs start?

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 1: A four-run first inning was all the Cardinals needed. Tommy Pham singled twice and tripled, scoring three times. The Cards win their 80th game.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5: Oakland blew an early 5-0 lead. Robinson Cano doubled. According to the Associated Press, he became the first player to have at least 30 doubles in his first 11 seasons in the major leagues, passing Albert Pujols. In a year where you’re hitting .277, I suppose any accomplishment is worth celebrating.

Cubs 8, Giants 4: Jake Arrieta allowed only an unearned run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.22 and notching his 16th win on the year. Not that he needed to be so good as he had an 8-0 lead by the time the sixth inning rolled around. Kyle Schwarber homered. He does that a lot.