John Smoltz Tells Colin Cowherd The Nats Must Have Strasburg In September

10:59 AM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- MLB commentator and longtime Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz knows what he's talking about, especially when it comes to pitching.

The eight-time all-star went through Tommy John surgery back in 2001, and understands how Strasburg's arm is feeling.

I said the other day that because of the Nats current slot in the standings -- 15 games over .500 -- the team shouldn't rule out resting Strasburg throughout the month of July. It seems like Smoltz agrees.

"If I were playing GM in this situation, what I'd do is, I'd make sure he pitches in September. I don't care how many games you have to skip to get to that point. Make him pitch every eight days for awhile," Smoltz told ESPN's Colin Cowherd. 

"You can use the all-star break as a gap to provide that rest. He's going to pitch in the all-star game, so let him do that. And just wait in the back end and in the front end of the all-star game."

"You've got to find a way for this guy to pitch in September. And even if it's under the limits. You can't have your fan base...," trailed off Smoltz.

"I understand what they are doing to a point. The guys coming back from Tommy John surgery. I understand that. But I think there is ways to play with the schedule, gap it out."

Later, Cowherd and Smoltz -- who is in D.C. to call tonight's Yankees-Nats game on the MLB network -- went on to talk about how quickly Washington has risen to prominence. 

"When a young team starts providing excitement and an edge, you start thinking the things were thinking now," said Smoltz, agreeing with Cowherd's assessment that the Nats are for real.

"Other organizations that go through quick starts, they start waiting for that losing streak to go. 'This is the team we're used to seeing,' or 'This is the team we're going to see.'"

"They are going to go through a losing streak. I just don't think that it's going to be as long as most other teams who typically do go through losing streaks."

Count Smoltz as a Natitude believer, and also a brilliant strategist regarding Strasburg. I hope Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo are made aware of these comments.

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