Following the all-star break, the Nationals’ probable starting rotation will have Jordan Zimmermann pitching the first game back in Miami, followed by Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Manager Davey Johnson said Sunday. Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler, respectively, will round out the final spots.
Strasburg and Gonzalez’s pitching schedule will allow them to pitch in Tuesday’s all-star game in Kansas City. Strasburg’s last start was Friday and Gonzalez pitched on Saturday.
Johnson’s likely post-break rotation will still hinge, however, on how much each is used in Tuesday’s game, but he put the odds at more than 50 percent. While Strasburg and Gonzalez would likely only pitch one inning apiece, Johnson will be paying close attention to how many pitches they throw and how the atmosphere of the game could create a greater toll on them.
“It could change depending on what happens in the all-star break,” Johnson said. “But I was kind of thinking with [National League all-star Manager] Tony [LaRussa], and knowing what he probably would do with my guys, and that’s the way I lined it up.”
If this proposed rotation occurs as planned, Zimmermann would stay exactly on schedule, pitching Sunday and then pitching again in the first game back against the Marlins. If Gonzalez were to pitch in the all-star game, it could serve almost like his “throwing day,” the day between his starts when he throws a bullpen session.
It would still give Gonzalez a full three days off before his next start. And by moving Gonzalez in front of Strasburg in the post-break rotation, there would still be two-right handers sandwiched between the staff’s two left-handers as before.
Asked if he had yet received indication if both Strasburg and Gonzalez would pitch in Tuesday’s all-star game, Johnson deadpanned: “If they’re trying to win.”