If you want to catch Stephen Strasburg pitching for the Washington Nationals this season, you may want to hurry. The all-world rookie, who will make his debut on June 8, will likely be limited to about 95 major league innings this year, according to Nationals’ pitching coordinator Spin Williams, via the Washington Post.
The Nationals use a formula as a guideline for how many innings their young pitchers throw in a given year, Williams said. They take the previous year’s innings pitched and add 20 percent to that total. Using Strasburg’s innings from college, instructional leagues and the Arizona Fall League, Strasburg’s target innings for this year, minors and majors combined, comes out to about 160.
Strasburg, again, has thrown 50 1/3 minor league innings with one start to go. That would leave him about 95 innings to pitch in the majors.
With all the speculation that has surrounded Strasburg-mania this season, hearing from an actual member of the organization as opposed to a “source with knowledge of the situation” is a delightful change of pace. Ninety-five innings limits Strasburg to about 15 major league starts this season, depending of course on how long he is allowed to go in each start.
Williams did say that the rule is by no means set in stone, and that the team can adjust their own limit as they see fit. But I don’t think the organization is ready to take any chances with this particular prospect.
“We’re trying to win a championship in Washington. Our job is to protect the products of the organization as best we can.”