Thinking about Stephen Strasburg’s workload

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It wasn’t quite so eagerly anticipated as last year, but Stephen Strasburg made his spring debut on Saturday, giving up two runs in two innings against the Mets. Both runs came on a first-inning Ruben Tejada homer that benefited from a nice little breeze to left-center. After throwing 31 pitches in the first, Strasburg was perfect in an 11-pitch second inning.

The outing was Strasburg’s first since he was famously shut down last September 7 after 28 starts and 159 1/3 innings.

This year, Strasburg is working with “no restrictions,” according to manager Davey Johnson. Nationals VP of player development Bob Boone clarified that with USA TODAY last month:

To say there’s no restrictions really means, ‘Hey, we’d like him to pitch 200 innings,’ ” Boone said. “But, you’re not gonna say no restrictions like you might have on Steve Carlton, who would throw 320 innings. You’re not gonna do that. There’s always restrictions, but the meaning is, ‘We’re not gonna shut him down after 160 innings.’

Strasburg, for what it’s worth, talked about being ready to “throw 200-plus innings.” GM Mike Rizzo hasn’t chimed in with any specifics.

Personally, I can’t imagine Strasburg being allowed to throw 200 regular-season innings this year, not with the Nationals hopeful of  playing deep into October. Because if Strasburg throws 200 regular-season innings, then he could end up approaching or even topping 230 innings should the Nationals reach the World Series.

I think the ideal would be for Strasburg to throw about 180 innings during the regular season this year. That’d be a nice little boost from last year and still not a scary number for him to enter the postseason with.

Still, I don’t know whether that is part of the plan at all. Last year, the Nationals refused any possible alternatives that could have made Strasburg available for the playoffs. And the simple fact that he was on the mound today, on Feb. 23, suggests they’re not very concerned with any sort of innings rationing at the moment.

In 2012, Strasburg made his first spring start on March 4 and was fine to throw seven innings on Opening Day. It would have made sense to have him on a similar schedule this spring. As is, he’s due to make seven spring starts, which is two more than he or anyone else really needs. Perhaps that’s not so important without the innings limit this year, but I’d still rather save any extra bullets for September and October than have him pitch in games in February.

Yasiel Puig’s house robbed for the fourth time

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Yasiel Puig lives in Sherman Oaks, a Los Angeles neighborhood in the valley. It’s pretty nice for normies like you and me. His house cost nearly $2 million. But it’s not some gated community where super rich people live and, really, $1.8 million for a house in L.A. is not a ton when you’re a pro athlete or a celebrity of some kind. As we wrote back in 2015 when he bought the place, it’s kinda boring for a rich and famous person. It’s something of a McMansion that, like, a fairly successful dentist might own.

Whatever you think of the aesthetics of it, perhaps he should consider relocating to one of those gated communities, because the current place is not meeting his needs, security wise. From TMZ:

Yasiel Puig really needs to do something about his home security, ’cause he was burglarized yet again — the 4TH TIME he’s been hit … TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops were called to Puig’s San Fernando Valley home Tuesday night around 8 PM after one of the Dodger’s assistants got a security alert on his phone, which showed 3 men leaving Puig’s property.

Yasiel has a security camera set up that captures motion, and it automatically sends the video to a cell phone programmed to receive it. When Yasiel’s associate saw the footage, he immediately called police … but the bad guys had already fled.

TMZ notes that Puig was robbed during spring training in 2017, during last year’s World Series and again just last month.

The entire world knows when Puig is home and when he isn’t, so if he’s going to keep living on a cul-de-sac like anyone else, might I suggest that he get a couple of dogs or a house sitter or a security guard or something? Just throwing it out there!