The Stephen Strasburg situation is proof that the Nationals are not ready to win. I realize they have a healthy lead in the National League East. I realize it will be almost impossible for them to miss the playoffs. They are still not ready to win and the Nationals themselves agree with me.
Their ace was on a innings limit from day one. They chose not to be careful with him early in the season. Why would a team not want to save their ace for the playoffs? Well, maybe because the Nationals had no intention or belief that they would be a playoff team. They played out the season as if they were in the International League. He started the season in the rotation to create buzz and to get fans to the ballpark. They threw strategy out the window. Somewhere Crash Davis is shaking his head. The Nationals started their innings limited ace every fifth day from April through August. September came and shockingly that innings limit was reached. Now the Nationals will enter the playoffs without their ace. Who could have seen this coming? Not the Nationals.
Meanwhile there are the Braves and Kris Medlen. The Braves goal was to be in the playoffs and they played the season out like it was. Medlen also had Tommy John surgery. Medlen also was and is on a inning limit. The Braves chose to save him for the rotation for the end of the season and the playoffs. Medlen started the year in the bullpen and did not make his first start until July 31st. He has now become the Braves ace. He is the hottest pitcher in baseball and he may even get the ball for the Braves and their one game wildcard playoff game. The Braves were ready to win. The Nationals are not.