by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Along with a surprising 10-11 start, the Nationals have seen an uncharacteristically slow start from ace starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (1-4), who may not be a staff ace after all.

What is an ace exactly?

Besides being a loosely defined baseball term typically applied to the better starting pitchers in the league, it really depends on who you ask.

“To me a guy that’s going to go out there and win the game by yourself, give the bullpen the night off, take the ball at least into the eighth inning, if not the ninth, that’s an ace,” Tom Verducci told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Thursday.

Justin Verlander, David Price and Jared Weaver are all guys he would consider fitting into that ace category, but there was one name Verducci left off.

“People have to go easy on this Stephen Strasburg is an ace bandwagon, and I know because of his stuff it’s easy to say that, but I don’t take that word lightly, in terms of an ace,” Verducci said.

An ace to me, you take the ball into the eighth inning,” he continued. “And Stephen Strasburg has made fifty starts in his major league career and he still hasn’t done that, hasn’t done that once. I mean, he’s basically been a six-inning pitcher; a very good six-inning pitcher.”

Wherever you draw the line, at 1-4, Stras certainly hasn’t played like an ace this season, but as the story goes, it’s only April.

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