There’s one thing that you never, under any circumstances, want to hear when scouting a pitcher.

Raw? That’s not a big deal. The pitcher can be developed in the minors, as long as it may take, and it can still work out.

Wild? That’s a problem, but again, it can be worked out, whether it’s just a wild arm or something psychological.

Lack of Passion? We are getting close, but even this is not the worst; if the pitcher has talent it can still work out. After all, Rube Waddell was a Hall of Famer.

The answer, of course, is “injury prone.” Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and so many others have had their careers shortened drastically due to injuries. Yet, before these injuries, they were highly touted prospects that pitched extremely well in the majors. Stephen Strasburg is in that same situation. He has pitched very well in the majors so far, yet in his rookie season, he has now been on the disabled list twice.

Some of this is the result of the Nationals being cautious with their star, and you can’t fault them for that. You never want to overexert your star. After all, how different would things be if Walter Johnson continued to have Joe Cantillon as his first manager? Well, for starters, it likely would have been his only manager, and he would have flamed out after four or five seasons.

Unfortunately, you could be as cautious as possible with Strasburg, but if this becomes a continuing trend, then it will be time to panic in Washington.

Do I have any particular reason to think that Strasburg is injury-prone apart from his two DL stints? No. Then again, no one had any reason to worry about Kerry Wood in 1998, and look at what has happened since.

Let’s say that, hypothetically, is does land on the DL again next season and this starts to build up. What’s the solution? All the Nationals can do is limit his innings and pitch count, but just as importantly, he may have to modify his pitching from trying to strike everyone out and turn into a Greg Maddux-type pitcher. He has the ability to do it should he ever have to.

Until then, let’s just shut him down for the season. We’ve seen he can pitch, let’s just make sure he’s 100% for next year. No need to risk another injury to move up to fourth place.

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