Stephen Strasburg not fond of possible innings limit

How many more times will we see this in 2012? (Getty Images)

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, All-Star and Cy Young contender, is in his first full season since coming back from Tommy John surgery, and as such he's on an as-yet-to-be-determined innings limit. It's widely believed that limit is 160 frames or so, but that's somewhat speculative. It's looking increasingly likely, though, that the Nationals' season will last longer than Strasburg's. After all, the first-place Nats, according to CoolStandings.com, have a 78.2% chance of making the postseason.

Strasburg, of course, realizes this, and that's why he had this to say on MLB Network Radio: "They’re going to have to rip the ball out of my hands."

It might come to that, as Strasburg is on pace for 193 innings in 2012. Would the Nats really put him on the shelf for the playoffs? You can make the case that Strasburg is the best one-game pitcher in baseball right now, and not using him in a short postseason series would, to say the least, harm the Nats' chances.

Perhaps they'll pump the brakes on him in the second half so that he's available in October? Perhaps they'll shut him down for a stretch in September and restart him once the playoffs begin (assuming, of course, they get there)? All that remains to be seen, of course.

Whatever the case, the handling of Strasburg down the stretch will be one of the more interesting subplots of the second half.

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CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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