Stephen Strasburg has been nothing less than a stud on the mound. The problem is he is not on the mound enough to truly help the Washington Nationals succeed or to help your fantasy team. Lets all collectively cross our fingers and hope that changes in 2017.
At Washington Nationals WinterFest, Stephen Strasburg said that he may have used his nasty slider just a little too much in 2016. He believes that this led to the injury that ended his season. Strasburg’s goal this coming year is to be less reliant on that slider and to pitch more than 200 innings for the first time since 2014:
"“My arm just wasn’t accustomed to throwing that pitch that many times. I was throwing it significantly more, even when I didn’t have it.” (h/t Jamal Collier, MLB.com)"
If he meets both of those goals, everyone is finally going to see that Fantasy All-Star that we all know he can be. Last season, Strasburg finished 24th on ESPN’s player rater. Imagine how high he would rank with a full season. His health is the only reason he is one of the biggest fantasy questions going into 2017.
For the first time since 2013, Strasburg won’t be a keeper in one of my many fantasy leagues. This is the same for a lot of fantasy players because we just don’t know what we will get. I personally was on the way to a title when Strasburg was 13-0 and then that was gone. His injury once again ended what was going to be a great season not only on the field, but for us in the fantasy world.
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His value is now being questioned as much as his health. If Strasburg is fully healthy, he’s a top ten fantasy pitcher. If he’s not he will be top ten for about 120 innings. Most owners are looking in a more consistent direction for their starting pitchers this season.
Strasburg will still be going early for a starting pitcher in most drafts and you as a owner have to weigh the risk. Although I’m not keeping him, I will look for him throughout my draft. If I can grab him as a mid rounder, I will do so.
One thing with Strasburg is that you have to understand that you’re not going to feel safe all year with him. However, you could end up extremely happy at the end.
If this year happens to be that unicorn of a healthy season we have all been dreaming of. it will be a happy year for Strasburg owners.