Indians Promote Out of Necessity, Nationals Promote Out of Greed

By Matt Van Wormer

Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Cord Phelps and a few other Indians’ prospects have played quite a bit in the 2011 season, but it wasn’t supposed to be that way.  If the injury bug hadn’t gone crazy like the bed-bug epidemic of 2010, those guys would probably still be battling for the AAA crown with the Columbus Clippers.  Alas, injuries and trades forced the Indians hand, especially because they were in the midst of a pennant race.  This is not the case for the Washington Nationals.
For those of you unaware, the Nationals have announced that mega-prospect Stephen Strasburg will make his season debut on September 6th, taking the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers (who have a slew of problems that don’t even have anything to do with baseball).  My question is this: Why?  It’s a game between two teams that are under .500 with no chance of being a part of the playoff picture.
Why on Earth would you send your hope for the future, one of the most prized arms in all of Major League Baseball, to the mound in a meaningless game in September less than a year after the kid (yeah, I said kid.  He’s barely 23) had Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow?  I apologize for the run on sentence there but it boggles my mind that they’re rushing an arm like that back to the Major’s.  The future already doesn’t bode well when you have to have that type of procedure at the age of 23.
The Indians made the moves they made, sending prospects to the Big’s ahead of schedule, out of necessity and a hope that they were ready to push the Tribe to the playoffs.  This is a greedy, selfish, money making move that could end up hurting more than just the future of the ball club.  There is a 23 year old kid at the center of this and there is no reason he should be playing a meaningless game in September of this season when his team has a chance to be successful next season.
Let him rehab and take it easy so that he is definitely 100% for Spring Training next year.  I think if the Indians were in the same situation, they would have the common sense not to make this same mistake.  The Nationals have players that are able to play the season out and adding Strasburg’s arm to the rotation is just dumb.  I hope, for his sake, this isn’t his only start over the next year.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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