The Nationals Window Is Closing Rapidly
By giving Stephen Strasburg a seven-year extension, the Nationals were banking on the injury prone days being behind him. He’d pan out to be a Cy Young arm at the top of their rotation.
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Despite his final few starts before the elbow injury, Strasburg was looking like the clear choice for National League Cy Young, as the Nationals were winning nearly every game that he pitched.
Strasburg was also becoming a dominant strikeout pitcher. His injury now leaves the Nationals with reason to worry now and in the long run.
The Nationals window to win a championship is closing rapidly, especially with the Cubs only getting better. If the Nationals are going to make a World Series run, they need Strasburg to be on top of his game, but more importantly, they need him to be healthy.
If he’s not healthy, it’ll be very hard to see the Nationals going far in October.
Also, while injury lead to his absence this postseason, this is the second time in three postseason appearances that Strasburg hasn’t been on the Nationals postseason roster. The other time was in 2012 when the Nationals organization decided that not pitching their ace in the postseason was the appropriate way to go about things for his long term stability. Remember, the Nationals haven’t once gotten out of the first round.
The Nationals may have won the World Series in 2012, and they had a real shot at the World Series this year, but injuries to Strasburg and Ramos deflated their chances.
2017 is the biggest and most important year for the Nationals. Their success will be reliant on their ability to stay on the field, and the Nationals are banking on Strasburg remaining healthy now and in the long run.