World Series MVP Hits the IL
The Washington Nationals announced a big blow to their starting rotation on Saturday. The team announced that World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg will be out for the season. Britt Ghiroli who writes for the team for The Athletic had the news first on Twitter.
Stephen Strasburg has been put on the 60 day IL, which means his 2020 season is over.
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) August 22, 2020
For a Washington Nationals team that is set on trying to contend, this is a significant blow. So far this season, the Nationals have grossly underachieved overall. Going into play Saturday, the team currently sits in last place in the National League with a 9-13 record. Over their last ten games, the team has played 500 baseball.
Collectively as a unit, the Nationals pitching staff has posted a 4.72 ERA over 21 games or 183 innings of work. More specifically, the starting rotation has a 5.18 ERA so far which puts them 22nd in all of baseball and 12th in the National League. Right-hander Max Scherzer currently leads the team with a 3.71 ERA and 39 strikeouts.
Impact of Losing Stephen Strasburg
Last season, Strasburg was a key pitcher for the Nationals on their quest to winning the World Series. The Nationals arguably had the best starting rotation in baseball with the aforementioned Max Scherzer, Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez. All four were tremendous in helping the team to get over the hump.
Due to the contributions that Strasburg made, he was rewarded this past offseason with a seven-year, $245 million dollar contract by the organization. It wasn’t an extension as he didn’t become an official free agent, but so far the value of that deal is not looking great with Saturday’s news. In addition, Strasburg is 32 years old which means there is greater risk going forward as he continues to age.
For now, the Nationals will look to Corbin and Sanchez to provide as much impact as possible. Furthermore, both Austin Voth and Erick Fedde will need to bolster the back end of the rotation. Overall, the Nationals do not have a lot of starting depth. However, with this news, it could mean that the organization looks to add a starting pitcher before the August 31st Trade Deadline.
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