To this point in the season, when the topic of his impending shut down has come up, Stephen Strasburg has shrugged it off and said that no one from the team has discussed it with him personally.
That changed late Wednesday night as the Nationals flew from Miami back to D.C. Nationals manager Davey Johnson approached his ace right-hander and told him “Got a few more to go.”
“So he doesn’t think, going out there, ‘This may be my last one,’” Johnson explained Thursday.
And Johnson intimated that their plan was becoming more and more firm earlier in the week when he noted that they expected John Lannan to be lined up to slide into Strasburg’s spot in the rotation seamlessly.
As it stands right now, if the Nationals remain on-turn and aren’t interfered with by rain, Strasburg will likely make his final start on Sept. 12 in New York. A start before that would be Friday, Sept. 7 at home against the Marlins and one start after Sept. 12 would be Sept. 19 at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s a pretty firm plan,” Johnson said.
Asked if he expected to get any blowback from Strasburg when the day comes that the Nationals feel it’s time to take the ball from his hands for the season’s final time, Johnson was blunt.
“I’m the one who puts his name on the lineup card,” he said. “And it ain’t happening after the innings limit.”