But after the Nats' ace was given between 160 and 180 innings to pitch this season as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, Zimmerman has a clear understanding that the 24-year-old Strasburg's health comes first, according to a report appearing on the team's website:
"We are doing what's best for Stephen," Zimmerman said. "Stephen is probably the first person that doesn't want to do it. It's just the way it is. Just like we have done all year, when I've been hurt, [Michael] Morse has been hurt, Jayson [Werth] has been hurt or everyone else has been hurt, we'll get through it. We'll do what we have to do to win.
"Stephen is a special talent. I don't think anyone is going to deny that. Lucky for us, he is going to be a special talent with us for a long time. I would like to be able to look at that now and have that feeling 10 to 15 years from now. He is the prototypical ace. He is a big right-handed power pitcher. When you look at those guys [like Stephen], those guys are not fun to face.