As the Stephen Strasburg shutdown date grows closer, local fans and media members have sort of moved on to other debates, but national fans and media members have not. Plenty of people are still talking about this.
And thus, GM Mike Rizzo again addressed the issue during Tuesday night’s MASN broadcast.
He brought the topic up himself, when discussing his inaction at the trade deadline.
“Everyone talks about us needing a pitcher because of shutting Stras down later on in the season,” he told Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo. “But if we weren’t gonna upgrade and get one of those elite pitchers — which are gonna cost you three or four of your minor league players, your good ones — that secondary tier of pitchers, we feel that we have those guys in-house.
“You know, John Lannan is a pitcher that won 10 games in the big leagues, threw 200 innings two or three years in a row, and has a sub-4.00 era for his career. So that’s a real pitcher, and we felt that we couldn’t do any better in the trade market.”
Later, the MASN crew returned to the topic, asking if the shutdown would come after a set number of innings or based on other criteria.
“I think it’s a combination of things,” Rizzo said. “These decisions are put in place. Certainly the medical professionals — Dr. Lew Yocum, who was the surgeon who did Stras’s surgery and Jordan Zimmermann’s surgery — he is very much involved in this decision-making process.
“Also the representative for Stras is involved in it. Stras himself will be involved in it. And ultimately, it’s the general manager’s decision, what we want to do and when we want to do it, and I’m going to make it. And I’ll sleep like a baby after I make it, because I know we’re doing the right thing.”
Then Rizzo was asked if there are arm tests to know when Strasburg has reached his limit.
“I think it’s workload, it’s [analysis] of how he works, how many stressful innings has he had, how many 30-plus pitch innings has he had,” he said. “We’ve got a litany of documentation and information that we’re gonna use, and we’re gonna supplement that with the advice of our surgeons. Our medical director and a lot of people are gonna be involved in this decision to give us a road map on how to handle it. Ultimately, when it’s gonna happen will be my decision, and we’ll move on.”