The Nationals will not send Stephen Strasburg to either the Arizona Fall League or the Instructional League in an effort to increase his innings pitched in his first year after returning from Tommy John surgery. Once Strasburg pitches Wednesday in Florida in the final game of the season, he will be done for the year.
“He won’t pitch anymore,” General Manager Rizzo said. “I think he’s had plenty of innings. That was the number I had set going into this year. He’s pitched great. And I like it the day after when he says it feels good, that’s the best thing for me.”
Strasburg pitched 20 1/3 innings over six minor league rehab starts and 18 innings in his first four major league starts. With his final start, Strasburg should finish just shy of 45 total innings.
Strasburg’s total this season will help determine his innings limit for next season. Like Jordan Zimmermann this year, Strasburg’s innings will be restricted in his first full season following the recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Nationals have yet to determine the precise number for Strasburg.
“I’ve already semi-calculated it in my mind with our medical staff and our pitching people,” Rizzo said. “We’ve already discussed it. But suffice it to say, he’ll be on some sort of innings limit next year.
“We’re still at the beginning of that process. We want to find out how he feels at the end of the season and where he’s at. We’ll calculate it and see what’s a comfortable amount for him.”
The Nationals will not necessarily use Strasburg’s 2011 innings to determine his innings limit as they used Zimmermann’s 2010 innings to determine Zimmermann’s. But, for comparison’s sake, the Nationals limited Zimmermann to 160 innings this year. In 2010, Zimmermann pitched 39 2/3 innings in 10 minor league starts and 31 innings in seven major league starts for a total of 70 2/3 innings.