Stephen Strasburg is down to his final stretch of the season, and he's been made aware of the Nationals' plan for him.
Manager Davey Johnson said Thursday the young ace will make "probably two or three" more starts before the club shuts him down for 2012 and said he has conveyed that information directly to Strasburg.
Johnson said he told Strasburg on the team's charter flight home from Miami late Wednesday of the plan, not wanting the right-hander to worry his next outing could be his last.
"I said something to him on the plane," Johnson relayed. "You know, 'You've got a few more to go.'"
This revelation from Johnson doesn't differ much with one he offered last week when he said the Nationals would need a replacement for Strasburg in their rotation for two or three starts at the end of September. This would seem to indicate that number will be three, with left-hander John Lannan expected to fill that role.
Strasburg has thrown 150 13 innings so far in a season in which his club has planned all along to cap him between 160-180. He's scheduled to start Sunday at home against the Cardinals, then Sept. 7 against the Marlins (also at Nationals Park).
Strasburg would then probably end his season Sept. 12 against the Mets in New York.
Though there's still some wiggle room, and though general manager Mike Rizzo has said he'll be the one making the final call on Strasburg's shutdown date, Johnson said there's already a "pretty firm plan" in place.
Right-handed pitcher Justin Miller received an injection in his right shoulder. Miller recently stopped his rehab assignment because of renewed stiffness. He's been on the IL since May.
Matt Adams was available against the Diamondbacks Friday night after 'tweaking' his oblique Monday; Howie Kendrick got the start at first base.
Outfielder Adam Eaton got a well-deserved rest day Friday. Michael Taylor took on center field responsibilities while Victor Robles shifted over to right field.
SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely
RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out indefinitely
1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, could return mid-June
RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely
RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely
Saturday 6/15: Nationals vs. Diamondbacks, 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park
Sunday 6/16: Nationals vs. Diamondbacks, 1:35 p.m., Nationals Park
Monday 6/17: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park
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Ahead of Friday’s matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Nationals hosted the University of Virginia Night at the ballpark and the men’s basketball championship team joined as special guests.
Nationals closer Sean Doolittle and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, both Cavaliers during their college days, took the chance to rep their school pride.
The two alums posed for pictures with the championship trophy, with Doolittle decked out in a UVA shirt and championship hat.
Zimmerman and Doolittle played ball together for the Cavaliers in 2005 while Zimmerman was a junior and Doolittle was a freshman.
While at UVA, the Cavaliers both players collected several accolades. Zimmerman was named 2005 All-American and named to the 2004 Charlottesville NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team. Doolittle formerly held the record for wins in a career for a Virginia pitcher and in 2005 and 2006 was named to the USA National (Collegiate) Baseball Team.
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