While the initial focus will be on the San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series, the Washington Nationals will soon find themselves in the spotlight. As the celebration dies down and the long winter kicks in, there won't be much to talk about until the trades really begin. That gives us plenty of time to start analyzing the Nationals' usage of Stephen Strasburg and whether things would have turned out differently if he had ben allowed to pitch past early September. Even the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander has thought about it.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Verlander was curious why teams don't let their best pitchers pitch. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is no stranger to a heavy workload. He has pitched more than 200 innings in every season since 2007. He has led the American League in innings-pitched in three of the last four seasons. And he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I think maybe teams can learn from what I've done here," Verlander said. "You can't stamp every individual and say you need to get him out of there at 105 or this many pitches. Everybody is different in this game.
"Some guys do fatigue at 90 to 100 pitches. Some guys don't. How do you know who the guys are that don't if you never let them get past that?"The Nationals chose to shut Strasburg down after 28 starts and 158 1/3 innings-pitched. This was his first full season coming off Tommy John surgery and Washington wanted to be as conservative as possible with him. By shutting him down though, the Nationals' ace was not available for the postseason. It may not have made a difference, but as Verlander says about pitch counts, until we let it happen, we'll never know.