The Mike Rizzo Show returned this week with the Washington Nationals general manager as he joined ‘Holden and Danny’ to address the growing criticism of the team’s stance on Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit.
In his first full season since returning from Tommy John surgery, the first pick in the 2009 MLB draft has at times been dominant. But Strasburg’s impressive play has been over-shadowed by an innings limit that would cut his season short.
Rizzo did his best to explain that the decision is a medical one, not managerial.
“We’re looking at the long term health of the franchise and for Stephen Strasburg,” said Rizzo. “We’ve got a plan, we’ve got a blueprint of how to do this. This isn’t Mike Rizzo’s plan, he didn’t go to Medical school but Dr. Lew Yocum did and Dr. James Andrews did. We’re taking their recommendations and putting them into place.”
Doctor’s Yocum and Andrews are considered the top orthopedic surgeons when it comes to Tommy John surgery. Yocum took over the mantle and the practice of Dr. Frank Jobe, who was baseball’s first super-surgeon and the first to perform the Tommy John procedure.
“He’s (Yocum) the one who set up the rehabilitation schedule, which we followed to the T and he’s the one that kind of guides us through how to get these guys back on the mound effectively,” Rizzo said. “Who better to listen to than the world renowned surgeon whose deal is to do these and rehab these kind of players?”
In other Nats’ related news, Rizzo provided an update on the status of all-star Ian Desmond who has been on the disabled list since July 22nd with a strained oblique.
“He’s been actively doing pregame workouts, that’s kind of the first step of returning to playing for us,” Rizzo said. “We’ll try to get him some live at-bats somewhere and see where he stands as far as activation.”
Rizzo also chimed in on Bryce Harper hitting a rookie-wall since the all-star break.
“Bryce is swinging the bat extremely well (but) he hasn’t had a lot to show for it,” said Rizzo. “Going the other way is always the key for him, that tells me he is keeping his front side in. I feel good about where he is at with his approach and at the plate.”