On my wish list for Santa Claus, I’ve included a medical chart with a clean bill of health for Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
When Stephen Strasburg is at his best, he is one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. His dominance was witnessed in his 2019 campaign where he led the league in innings pitched, struck out 252 hitters, and won 18 games. His commanding performance in the World Series won him the Most Valuable Player Award.
When Stephen Strasburg is injured, the Nationals are not the same team. They do not have the powerful one-two punch of Scherzer and Stras, who are usually good for a couple quality starts every time they hit the mound.
In 2020 Strasburg appeared in just two games and pitched just five innings. He was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, which required season ending surgery. Coupled with other injuries, the Nationals were unable to properly defend their championship, and they limped to the finish line.
For the 2021 Washington Nationals to be successful they need to get better pitching performances for the entire rotation, namely Stephen Strasburg.
In the World Series season, Strasburg made a total of 38 starts, including the postseason. I could really go for that number of games out of his again, this year. After the season he signed a 7 YR/$245M contract extension, of which he did not return dividends in year one.
I felt compelled to add this request to my lengthy Christmas list, as I feel Strasburg’s injury list is almost as long. Right shoulder inflammation in 2010. Torn UCL which required Tommy John surgery after that. Mild lat strain in 2013. Upper back pain in 2015. Inflammation in his should again, 2018. All of these required trips to the injured list, and sent an inferior pitcher to the mound in his place.
Santa Claus, all I am asking for is a healthy, able bodied, beast of a pitcher, who throws flames out of his right arm. I don’t think it is too much to ask for having this guy make 30+ starts next year, with an ERA south of three.
Okay, forget that last part. If you make sure Strasburg is healthy, he’ll provide the quality results on his own.