WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- For the record: I agree with the Nationals decision to cap Stephen Strasburg's inning limit at 160.
Think of it this way: In terms of his baseball life, Strasburg is a young teenager who owns a gorgeous brand new Ferrari (his arm). The Nationals are his parents. Parents give young teenagers curfews. It isn't worth totaling the Ferrari when the Nationals know Strasburg is destined for potential Cooperstown greatness.
Washington is much further along than they expected to be at this point, especially in one of the best divisions in all of baseball. One season of falling short in the playoffs will be worth having a healthy Strasburg for the duration of the 2010's.
Okay, back to the reason I wrote this blog post. Strasburg currently sits at 93.0 innings pitched over the course of 16 starts. That equals out to 5.81 innings a start.
So 160 innings minus 93 innings equals out to 67 innings left for Strasburg. At his current pace of 5.81 innings per start, that would average out to just over 11.5 starts left. I'll round up to 12, to be fair.
If everything stays the same -- which it most likely won't -- Strasburg's final start will be on September 4, a Tuesday home affair against the Chicago Cubs.
The Nationals could choose to a skip a start or two from Strasburg, or throw him at the back end of the starting rotation in order to prolong his 2012 season. But if everything remained the same, September 4 would be the date his 160 innings are up.
What would the Nats do? Bring up John Lannan? Try and add another arm during the trading deadline? Most of us seem to have very skeptical opinions of Chien-Ming Wang (7.61 ERA in 23.3 innings pitched).
General Manager Mike Rizzo must come up with some type of replacement for the playoff haul.