The Nationals are sending their two best pitchers to Tuesdays MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, Gio Gonzalez who has participated in the game before and Stephen Strasburg who will make his first appearance. Both pitchers are important to the team this year and beyond, but things are more complicated with Strasburg given his injury history and expected innings limit for this season. Davey Johnson said on Saturday, however, he has no plans to talk to National League manager Tony La Russa to tell him how to use his guys.
The prudent thing is, the way I look at it is, give the guys with the most rest the most work, he said. Tony is a Hall of Fame manager, Im sure he will be doing that.
Johnson was unaware of the rules of the game as far as pitching, whether starting on a certain day excludes a pitcher from being used. He was also unsure of the amount of pitchers on the N.L. roster, a clear sign he wasnt too worried about his players being called on in the game.
The N.L. team in fact holds 13 total pitchers, eight of them starters and five of them relievers. Pitchers generally pitch one inning at a time, so it is possible that one or both of Washingtons All-Star arms will not play. With Strasburg starting Friday he will have three days of rest and after Gonzalez starts Saturday he will have two.
Johnson himself managed the N.L. roster at the 1987 All-Star game and La Russa was on the American League staff as a member of the Oakland Athletics. Back then, however, the team carried only eight pitchers and the 1987 game went 13 innings. Because of the games length Johnson had to use Chicago Cubs closer Lee Smith three innings, a move that likely wouldnt fly in todays game.
However La Russa decides to use Strasburg and Gonzalez, Johnson will be watching the game from afar. He plans to go down south for the break.
Im going to Florida, Im going where its hotter, he said. Ive got a couple of golf games set up.