How a 2018 conversation with Davey Martinez transformed Stephen Strasburg into a World Series ace


The 2018 season was a tough one for Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg health-wise. He had two separate visits to the Injured List, one due to shoulder inflammation and the other with nerve damage.

So in September with the Nationals all but out of playoff contention, Strasburg walked into his manager Davey Martinez’s office with one simple request: to be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Martinez didn’t oblige.

“Two years ago, he got hurt,” Martinez told The Sports Junkies. “He came back, his velo[city] was down. He came into my office and said he has to shut it down in September. I looked at him and said, ‘No you’re not.’

“I didn’t want him to do that,” the manager continued. “I wanted him to go out there and finish the season and just go out there and do what he can.”

Strasburg cited the slower velocity and the ball just not coming out right as the reason he wanted to shut it down. The ace was infamously shut down in September of 2012 coming off Tommy John surgery, just weeks before the Nationals’ first playoff appearance. 

But this time was different. Martinez convinced Strasburg to finish the season and work on all of his pitches.

“I said, ‘Hey. This is…

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