Washington Nationals to Shut Down Stephen Strasburg for 2 to 3 Starts

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IAugust 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 5, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has announced that ace Stephen Strasburg could miss two to three starts to end the season, according to ESPN.

Strasburg, who underwent the dreaded Tommy John surgery in August 2010, was given an approximate and unofficial limit of 160-180 innings this season by the Nationals in order to preserve his arm and actively help mitigate any injury risk. He currently has pitched 145.1 innings.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft has been dominant ever since entering the major leagues in 2010. The 24-year-old righty's compiled a 2.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 299 strikeouts in his first three MLB seasons, going 21-9 in the process.

This season, Strasburg has helped lead a Nationals starting rotation that has posted the best ERA in baseball (3.22), going 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 183 strikeouts. He's held opposing batters to a .224 batting average.

The Nats lead baseball with a 77-46 record so far, seven games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. While it's likely they make the playoffs, the concern with shutting down Strasburg is that he won't be able to help them in the playoffs.

The Nationals do have an all-around sterling starting rotation, however. Jordan Zimmermann has posted a 2.54 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 25 starts this season. Gio Gonzalez has gone 16-6 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 25 starts. Edwin Jackson has posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 23 starts. And the surprising Ross Detwiler has recorded a 3.25 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 25 games (19 starts).

Left-hander John Lannan will likely take over for Strasburg in the rotation, according to the Washington Post. Lannan owns a 3.46 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in two starts (both wins) this season.


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