This much we know: Strasburg will be shut down after he reaches about 160 innings - a number arrived at based on several factors including age, conditioning, innings thrown the previous season (44 1/3) and major-league innings before the injury (68). The Nationals don’t plan to fiddle with that number or space the innings so as to ensure their ace could pitch in a September playoff race.
In that allotted time, Strasburg, like everyone else, seems to expect near-perfection.
But as the Nationals prepare for their first season with Strasburg atop the rotation from the get-go, McCatty’s question from last September only seems to echo louder: “Is this guy normal?” Most expect him not to be.
“I’m pretty comfortable with the expectations people have for me,” Strasburg said with a shrug. “That’s never going to change. I have expectations for myself. As long as I go out there and compete to the best of my ability and do whatever I can to help the team win the ballgame, whatever happens, happens.”
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Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
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