Washington Nationals: Top Five Players of 2016 Season
15-4 W-L, 3.60 ERA, 183 K, 1.104 WHIP, 3.3 WAR
Before his right elbow flexor strain shut him down, Stephen Strasburg had one great season.
The higher ERA came from his last two starts before his first disabled list stint in August. At one point, he won his first 13 decisions and emerged as the ace everyone hoped he would be.
Set to be a free agent at the end of the year, Strasburg agreed to a massive seven-year contract extension. All you needed to know about the general health of the Nationals and the future can be said by the Scott Boras client never hitting the open market.
What will be lost because Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the playoffs is how dominant he was in the first half. Earning his second All-Star bid, his best game came in Miami on April 19 against the Marlins.
In a 7-0 laugher, he went eight strong innings scattering three hits and two walks. His ten strikeouts was the first of eight times Strasburg hit double-digits. With 105 pitches, he posted a season-high game score of 84.
Without him, the Nationals have a harder time getting the needed separation from the rest of the division. Here is hoping for a healthy 2017.