Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 7/17/12
Nationals-pitcher-stephen
The Nationals do not intend to allow right-hander Stephen Strasburg reach his innings limit without an alternate plan. The team is exploring trades for starting pitchers, including Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, according to major-league sources. In addition, the Nationals are looking for an everyday catcher, with the Rockies' Ramon Hernandez among their potential targets, sources said. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo remains adamant that the Nationals will shut down Strasburg after he reaches his prescribed limit, believed to be 160 to 165 innings. Strasburg, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2010, currently is at 105 innings. At his current pace of fewer than six innings per start, he would make approximately nine or 10 more starts, with his season ending in late August or early September. The addition of a pitcher such as Dempster would give the Nationals a veteran replacement for the pennant race and, if the Nats qualify, the postseason. The team currentl...
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