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Stephen Strasburg's innings limit continues to be hot discussion

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer
Strasburg may get a few more innings than 160, but not many more. (Getty Images)

So here's the latest update on Stephen Strasburg -- set to start Friday night -- and his pesky innings limit. According to Washington general manager Mike Rizzo, the Nationals won't let Strasburg pitch more than 180 innings this season, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Back on July 31, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported that all signs pointed to Strasburg's innings limit being around 170.

So maybe we'll see Strasburg shut down in the low-170s? That sounds like the direction.

There's been much ado about the Stephen Strasburg innings limit this season, and with good reason. The Nats sport the best record in baseball heading into Friday, at 69-43, and Strasburg is the ace of the stellar pitching staff.

Anyway, heading into the season, the Nationals made it known that Strasburg would be shut down around 160 innings. It was never said to be a hard cap, but it was assumed the start where he surpassed 160 innings would be his last. This wasn't anything new, as they had Jordan Zimmermann coming off Tommy John surgery in 2011 and shut him down with 161 1/3 innings.

The discussion this season has been much more polarizing because the Nats are in contention this time around. The questions of if they'll drop the limit, shut him down as planned or skip him a few starts to extend him deeper into September have been prevalent.

Strasburg enters Friday night with 127 1/3 innings pitched in 22 starts. That's just over 5 2/3 innings per start. At that rate, eight more starts (46 2/3 innings) would get him to 174 innings pitched on the season, so then the Nats would have to decide if they wanted to run him out there one more time or not.

Strasburg is 12-5 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 160 strikeouts against just 34 walks on the season.

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