There are so many reasons why shutting down Strasburg is a mistake. Having made the decision to limit his innings before the season, the Nationals’ refusal to skip the occasional start early in the year so that Strasburg would be fresh for October is mind-boggling. (The only explanation is that they didn’t think they’d actually be in contention this year. In which case, may we suggest they read Grantland more often?)
The decision to limit Strasburg’s innings instead of his pitches suggests a team that has been suckered by the Verducci Effect, named for the Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci, who posited years ago that young pitchers who exceed their previous career high in innings by more than 30 are likely to get hurt. It’s a pretty theory, but it has been debunked by analysts many times over.
A great and thorough tear-down of the Nats’ decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg. Run don’t walk.