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We've had many conflicting statements regarding Stephen Strasburg's infamous innings limit over the past several weeks, and now we can add another to the list.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Tony Meale of MLB.com on Saturday that Strasburg's 160-inning limit is still on, and that he won't be skipping any starts.
This statement comes on the heels of this statement by general manager Mike Rizzo (via Yahoo! Sports):
Look, the media put (the 160-innings limit) out there, not me. It probably comes from what Jordan Zimmermann pitched last year.
I don't have a specific pitch count in my mind, a specific innings count in my mind. I am going to refer to my experience as a farm director, as a player development guy, and knowing his body. In conjunction with Davey Johnson and (pitching coach) Steve McCatty, when we feel he's had enough, we're going to shut him down.
That statement came on the heels of this:
He’s not on a pitch limit for the year,” Rizzo said. “We’re going to control his innings at the end, and when I feel he’s had enough innings, we’re gonna shut him down. So there’s no limit per game for Davey, there’s no innings limit per game for Davey. We’re gonna treat him like a normal, young 23-year old starter. And when I feel he’s had enough innings and enough pitches thrown, then I’m gonna pull the plug on him and we’re gonna rest him, like we did with Jordan Zimmermann.
These conflicting reports have led to some confusion in the baseball world as to whether or not Strasburg actually has an innings limit, but Johnson's most recent remarks suggest that he does.
Strasburg has been dominant through seven starts in 2012, striking out 51 in 44 innings and posting an ERA of 1.64.
He's been a large part of the best rotation in the National League, and there's no doubt that the team will suffer a big blow when he finally gets shut down.
As of today, that point seems to be at 160 innings.
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