Strasburg still a Big Hit with the Nationals

300px-Stephen_Strasburg_MLB_debut-263x300With the All-Star break, Rookie Stephen Strasburg will start off with the Washington Nationals’ first game at the Florida Marlins, but will have to stick to a regular rotation until finishing his 160-innings limit for the season.  After going six innings and earning the win in Washington’s 8-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, Strasburg had pitched 98 innings in 2010 – 42 2-3 in seven starts in the majors and 55 1-3 at two levels in the minors.

Strasburg has pitched 98 innings on the game against San Francisco Giants, that leaves 62 innings to reach the limit the Nationals set. If he averages six innings per outing, that might carry him into the beginning of September.  Washington manager Jim Riggleman said,”When the innings are done, they’re done.” “If that falls at the end of August or early September, then that’ll be it.”

Riggleman said they are planning to spread out Strasburg’s appearances with day off between his turns, in that way they could have the right-hander on hand until the end of September.  Strasburg said, “When they say what day I have to go pitch, I’m going to go out there and give it everything I’ve got regardless of how long a rest I get.”

Riggleman wished, “that Strasburg’s cap was 190, 200 innings and it wasn’t an issue, but that’s not the case this year.” So the Nationals will go with the new schedule for Strasburg. They intend to win as many games as they could this season.

The 21-year-old Strasburg, who signed a record $15.1 million contract, is 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA in his first seven starts in the majors, with a team-leading 61 strikeouts and 11 walks.

“Once Strasburg is done pitching this season, he will stay with the major league club,” Riggleman said.