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Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg's Learning Curve And A Chat With The Cat

August 5, 2012;Washington D. C., USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
August 5, 2012;Washington D. C., USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

• The Template: Mike Rizzo. Davey Johnson. Scott Boras. Ask anyone involved with Stephen Strasburg about the plan to shut the 24-year-old right-hander down this season with the Nats in the midst of their first run at a postseason berth and you'll find that they are all in agreement. It's not an ideal situation but it's best for the young pitcher long-term. Inevitably, in any conversation on the subject, Jordan Zimmermann's name will be brought up. The 26-year-old right-hander went through the same process. Tommy John surgery. Rehab. An innings limit in his first full-year back. Then full-strength at Spring Training the next season with no limitations. Zimmermann's being mentioned as a potential Cy Young candidate this year.

While the Nats' skipper and GM were reluctant to tie Strasburg's recent struggles to his recovery from Tommy John, Zimmermann told ESPN980's Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan this week that the occasional control issues Strasburg's experienced are something he went through himself in his first full-year back in 2011.

"'I didn't have my best stuff all the time and as you saw last night, I don't think he had his best stuff,' the Nats' '07 2nd Round pick said referring to Strasburg's rough outing against Philadelphia, "And he's a really competitive guy and he gets frustrated when he doesn't have his best stuff. So we sat down and we talked with him after the game and I kind of just told him, 'You're going to have times like this and you're going to have bad games throughout your career. You can't be perfect every time. Sometimes you have to give the other team credit and if they hit the ball they hit the ball, but more times than not, you're going to dominate the other team, but there's going to be some hiccups along the way."

• Read the entire article at SB Nation DC...