Don’t worry about the Nationals – worry about Strasburg

“Are you worried about the Nationals?”
I’ve been asked a variation of that question a thousand times as the Nats limped to a 13-13 start in a season with high expectations.
My answer is always the same:

“No, but I am worried about Ryan Zimmerman”.
People overreact to April baseball. April is one month of six, and the baseball season is six months for a reason. After six months the best teams rise to the top. So, if the Nationals are one of the best teams as we all suspect, no, there is no reason to worry.
But injuries matter, which is why I always qualify my answer with Ryan Zimmerman. Slumps end and players get hot again, but injuries linger. If Zimmerman is hobbled all year, that’s a big problem.
Which is why people should be terrified of the words “discomfort” and “tightness” being put in the same sentence as “Stephen Strasburg”. Don’t worry about Laroche. He’ll bounce back. Don’t worry about Gio. He’ll be fine too. Worry about Strasburg, because injuries are the only thing that can sink this ship.
-Justin

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