Beltway Baseball: Strasburg shutdown from the D.C. perspective
CSN Washington dot com. Nationals fans welcome the CSN Washington knock on the beltway baseball presented by The Washington Times throughout the year. And Nationals Park on the field and tasty as the mark Zuckerman waiting for the rain fall quickly and get this done we will get through this before all. The skies opened up. Wanna start with Stephen Strasburg we've kind of put this topic on the back burner waiting to talk about it just because. There isn't really much matter what we really talked about spring training migrants that isn't changing is that right. But in the meantime in the last few weeks this has become the biggest topic in baseball. It's become a huge part of the national conversation Scott Boras is. Talked about it Joseph Gibbs has been asked about it. My prisons that Stephen Strasburg an agreement and it ran the Red Sox yankees game yesterday national broadcast -- got that. Of the nationals Stephen Strasburg that tells you writing this -- the ESPN was asking Marcellus Wiley at former that the NFL's defensive tackle the other -- what you thought about it. So we're gonna have to talk about this event and what I wanna know to take kind of a different angle here what it seems like that everyone but the people in DC nationals fans. Disagree with the decision say Stephen Strasburg should that keeps its normal. They should go for this year why do you think it is that maybe a lot of people in DC. Kind of -- with -- So yeah I think the difference. Between the people here in town and vs the rest of the country is that the people here backs have been watching this team. Every day they've been watching Strasburg every time he pitches they saw Jordan's -- -- how that worked in and they knew this is coming all. This wasn't out of the blue I think the rest of the country Ellison is waking up and saying wait. You're gonna shut down your best pitcher you know pennant race well couple things here number one I think you've been watching Strasburg -- all year. He's been slowly regress here is gone up. Each month. He's not the same pitcher now I don't think it was the start of the season and extrapolate that out. And October I think people and watch him would admit it and I have a whole lot left in the tank at that point I think that's part of it. I think also. That around the country they're so focused on this one player and think oh it's the only way nationals. Could win a World Series with Stephen Strasburg. Well stop and take a look at the rest of this team it's an insult and get a point or guys not roster with him as the best record in baseball and the best rotation. In baseball they have one of the deepest lineups most productive lineups -- they have a deep bullpen. They have a good bench they have one of the best defense didn't get up the fewest earned runs in the National League and put it all again that they really good team and if you take. All the games that Strasburg has not started this year. They're playing 600 ball that equates to about 97 point lead that team is good enough to win and I think that's why people around here sense that -- you'd -- to -- Strasburg. Like shutting him down is in no way the nationals waving the white flag saying no we're not and when it. I think also from the DC perspective that this team we didn't expect him to be this good this quickly I think. Mike Rizzo has earned a lot of respect from nationals fans I think he's almost earned the benefit of the doubt I think it. He's made a lot of good decisions maybe he's right on this it is true and yet look back. Three years ago and conine when he really took over. How far they've come since then and all of the decisions he had to make. As he hit a 100% I don't know but he's got a really good winning percentage all these moves and your right and again I know. No two bodies are exactly the same but if you look at Jordan's last year and look at him this year. Especially this time of the year at this point here he's getting stronger as the year goes on he leads the majors here right now right you look at that. How can you not say. -- it -- to do the same things Trot Nixon and he said it himself to -- -- the ice is spoken at this time last year wasn't a strong and that and last year he didn't realize it. He felt like I am on I can keep going it wasn't until years later he -- -- say boy you know what I'm so much stronger now yet it was the right decision. Now if if we are agreeing with this we're not saying that they wouldn't. Need Stephen Strasburg they might not need him he's a very good pitchers their best pitcher. But -- may woman I had it I would almost argue that at this moment or it may not be their best pitcher or there it's while not none. All things aside he's very good pitcher so when he leaves the rotation. There's going to be a domino effect in the fourth guy who's trying to do that last pitcher pitching in the playoffs. If rock is gonna be rust that I want -- is is he going to be good enough for do you think maybe there's a chance that John Lannan wins that role in September well I think it's set this up all along. Forget wired you guys and the way he is picks especially since coming back in the rotation. After attending long -- out. I think that suggest that he can be that guy he's gone deeper into games going 67 innings were used to struggle to get out of it it. This is a guy with immense talent obviously first round -- sixth overall in the country and he's finally realize that potential now that he's got a chance. He's more confident in the way he's pitching which I think is important. Now that's that's a lot can happen now and October and it's often got knocked over yet you can clarify at this make sure you know they're in good position. I think it would take it pretty big collapse and a liar and landing just pitching lights out when he got up here. That change but again the thing to remember here is in this kind of ties -- Eagles Robert especially to. You're talking about number four starter in the playoffs is -- most likely start one game -- series so when you've already got. Say -- pitching game one Gonzales skiing to Jackson injury. From a game for forgotten while and that's it. So. Again we're not necessarily it yet you're replacing your ace quote unquote. But you're just basically pumping everyone up a slot it's not like you've taken the worst guy in your rotation and telling him you have to beat number one now. Looking ahead. Just hypothetically think there's any chance they start -- number won the first game. Because he has a track record of pitching 200 innings he could start game possibly have a good maybe depend on the match ups who they're facing -- real lefty heavy lineup. But I really think it is sort of start structured this where he's looking -- zone. As the number one guy right now. Again as long way to go -- -- all you know. It plays out they're gonna need all these guys and getting your number is in a perfect world. They clinched with enough time for him to kind of figured he there's no guarantee you're gonna do that especially there's still battling the race for the division. They got to play your record in. Now let's move on to the lineup they're almost tells you what. David Johnson the other day where Willie Ramos is the only guy and yes it is missing another call -- Willie all right -- back. It's great name but Jayson Werth is back and playing very well he's come into this lineup and just made them that much deeper. He has and I think it's stunning to a lot of people because if you go back last season what he was -- as he struggled. You start off this you're really good and he missed three months with a broken wrist and I think everybody thought. There be an adjustment period it was just gonna happen right away especially was on rehab for about a week and the feeling -- that kind of rushed back. Hasn't been the case at all he's been in Athens coming back he's getting on base over 500 -- which is astounding he's hitting 402. It's -- because of all that it's made sense to have ended and we off. It's a long conventionally you think about a 126 million dollars right -- lead -- hitter and he doesn't fit the mold certainly physically hasn't looked like the right but he gets on base. Works the count well. And really has set the table for the guys behind him and and having most importantly he has embraced. I think a year ago when this came up when Portland was manager wasn't as keen on doing it now you look at the rest of the roster and lineup and says. It makes no sense I can help most and that. I know he's he's got the contract but he's your third or fourth guy in the lineup. That looks pretty that he he's gonna make that pitcher throw a lot of pitches he works the count is a veteran. He's a very hard gotta get out if he's not one of the primary guys I know exactly and I think that's the point now remember. Forget about the numbers on back I think even Mike Rizzo wouldn't it he has admitted. That -- -- for him he's not -- hundred point six million dollar player but they felt like what he was gonna bring to the team was worth overpaying for and so. Look at his career he's always been very good complementary player on those Phillies teams at Howard and Utley Victorino Rollins all that. He was a great. He's defeated along with that -- have to be the guy I think I'm missing that you're now with Zimmerman wrote Morse Desmond. Harper you know -- fits in nicely and I and he's been so much more relaxed comfortable I think in part because he understands I don't have to be the guy is here I'm just wanna. Now another guy just came back is Ian Desmond came back from a torn oblique injury. All star shortstop huge part of their first half of the season. He's coming back do you think maybe they rushed him back a little bit early from what was the thought I was really surprised and and -- not -- -- -- rehab and all right after missing time and I know that -- good teammates felt healthy and all that. It's on in two games has looked all right to me to this point. You know we'll see I'm really surprised that he can get the last game this -- off -- game plan. It's -- and watch the rest of the way but. He's been so important that. That and it was so tough for him to be sitting out during this time and be tough for him that. Saw him longer now let's talk about the National League the nationals are in first place but. That isn't as far as they win the Braves are winning the reds are still pretty good the Pirates thirty think. Looking at the other teams in the National League that are kind of near the top who's their biggest threat well. I know the best record is probably the reds the one that keep in mind but the Braves are playing so well. Right now and it's gonna push the nationals rickety and even if they -- they went to playoff spot. With you know week to ten days ago and they thought about that division and it's a big deal to win the division and not -- wild card. That plagiarism much seat is so much has made big series coming up this week now between the Q I would look at the Braves hasn't hasn't really tough opponent and I know the Dodgers and Giants are and Peter miss them mr. played as well as you think they should but either team. The Giants pitching staff number one especially at home. And the Dodgers lineup now with the improvements they've made it to you know answers on that those are some dangerous teams. In theory -- -- -- right if all those guys are required at the deadline by both those teams they start to match. Both teams to be pretty scary well let's start there rants are gonna have to relocate here and we'll be right back with some reader questions. And we're back with some reader questions in the safety of the nationals pressure in this area there almost got wet out there and what -- like lightning might have been on its way. But the first question is from Michelle that's. About the clubhouse and how they're reacting to being in a pennant race how are they handling on the attention even though it is focused on only one. Well yeah a lot of the national attention is focused on one player I think they're handling it pretty well. Be honest and I think this is where some of the veterans come into play at guys like Jayson Werth has been through it for the -- Has been through this before. I -- Jackson has been through before even a guy like Mark DeRosa was on the DL on posse wasn't playing particularly well when he was here he still around the team every day. And I think there's a reason for that and why he's gonna continue to be around because. He's a guy who's been through a lot of stuff and it's a good influence. On the younger guys I think it'll really start to ramp up here as we get towards the end of the season. And you start seeing even more daily attention more cameras more national media here. But I think these guys I think they're comfortable with the idea everybody. Paying attention them and certainly Davey Johnson who's been through this point times foreign. Is perfectly comfortable in front of media. I think he'll -- fine -- and I think he sets the tone for everyone else. Grades it's not like they have managers don't do this for the first time I know exactly this isn't. -- backs it up again any active but if this isn't a case of them a rookie managers and my dad. Get a lot of young guys on the team. With a lot of veteran influence around them all to help -- this. More -- situation. -- you're looking forward to September the second question about September call ups. Whether Anthony ringtone might be called up in September and wanna throw another name out there at -- incidents could Alex Meyer potentially. I don't see that one. Of the reform asking is because he's he's -- crying he's doing pretty well right and the Orioles are reportedly thinking about Kevin Costner and yet. Same exact same level I know the chances are slim yet. That when I don't see the only reason on -- don't even consider that possibility is that he's on the forty man roster already because he's given a big league contract. When he signed. Even saying that I think it's highly unlikely. That would see him out here he would have to tear the cover off the ball and heavily were used as close -- -- -- you know most of the season. With the ankle injury. In order to make him a bold move like that there's got to be two key reasons -- do it number one. You've got to feel like the player is would you rate or close to ready not to disrupt. He has maturation and development and number two there's got to be an obvious need the big league roster. I'm not sure in the national's case given all the bats they have. Given what they have third base out there and that. It would. Help the team all that much does that that you need that's worth the risk of government happen it would be fascinating to see and I think this guy is going to be on the fast -- stays healthy. But I would. Yes it's highly unlikely Garcia and wanna -- or Alex Meyer comes. Well whoever does come up it's going to be a question of playing time which involves the third question from -- mania. Says what has been Davies philosophy in the past with respect to playing time. And whether he would he and rest if they were clinched the division early will he keep the guys on a routine and a rhythm or rest them up yet well again a long way to go hook so we'll see -- playing right down the wire but. Even if they do you wrapped an -- close to wrapping it up I could see him. Just and that last week or so maybe wanted to try to line -- is pitching staff. Are talking for who's your number one who's your number two you want and that little bit. And maybe you give all your starting position players here they're dressed up especially the ones who have dealt with injuries this year worse. Desmond and Zimmerman. That kind of thing but I don't think you'll see case. All these guys all of a sudden -- inning and you're just talking about you know -- back appliance. For those games down the stretch because you wanna keep them sharp. And if they do say win the division. And don't have to play in that wild -- season ends on Wednesday. Thursdays off day Friday as the wild card game. Saturdays off that you don't start your first playoff round until Sunday so that's already three built in days off after the season ends. Hand if you do it again another advantage when division and so that gives guys can rest him some too so my guesses. You see a lot of these guys still playing pretty much freaked out there. But the way the Braves are playing they might not have the opportunity -- right exactly and that's why I said if say you know we're looking ahead here and who knows what might say they clinch. The playoffs for the week ten days ago which is entirely possible. But they're still only three games up on the Braves they're gonna have to play this thing through and they absolutely want to win the division. And get it comes. Yeah I think the Atlanta journal constitution be writers said. That we did the other day that brace then my Braves fans might need to come to the come to grips with the fact that they might have the second best record in the National League. And be playing in the wild card and and this is one problem I have with that is the new format. That you have a scenario potentially. Where the number one wildness got into the nationals announced all right yeah exactly where the number one wild card team could have 9395. Wins. The number two wild card team could have -- said. Big disparity and now you only have to play one game against them to decide it all and I think there should be. Some incentive or advantage to so clearly being better than the other team. Again long way to go scale works out but and that is reason right there to one when your division there's a long way to go but it should be fun as long as things keep going well. Just look at the park the other night against the Mets -- yeah some great environments here over the weekend I think it's going to be good again this week with the Braves in town and work experience in pennant race baseball in DC for the first time three generations pretty cool thing. It should be fun hopefully we have a lot more to talk about hopefully that conversation can shift to. What's going well with the nationals rather than whether they gonna shut down Stephen Strasburg but regardless will be talking about all of it CSN Washington that since I dot com. -- distraught about what baseball. CSN Washington dot com.