In his first full season following elbow ligament replacement surgery, Strasburg is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA and a National League-leading 183 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 145 1-3 innings, and the Nationals are thought to have given him a limit of 160-180.
"I think it came out that with the off days, we'd need another starter for I think two starts," Johnson said after talking with general manager Mike Rizzo. "I think two starts, might have been three."
Washington began the day with a seven-game lead in the NL East, putting the city on track for postseason play for the first time since 1933.
The Nationals followed a similar plan last season with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. The 26-year-old right-hander is 9-7 with a 2.54 ERA that ranks second in the NL.
"It's funny, there wasn't anything said when we shut down Zimmermann," Johnson said.
Last year, Johnson announced a pitcher for Zimmermann's slot before he had the chance to inform all involved. He intends to change that this year.
"Everybody in the world will know about this one," Johnson said.
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