The Nationals have planned Stephen Strasburg’s scheduled so he will make his four starts back from Tommy John surgery at Nationals Park, at which point he will either make one road start on the season’s final day or conclude his major league season.
The Nationals will give Strasburg five days of rest between his next two starts following Sunday’s start, meaning Strasburg will pitch at Nationals Park on Sept. 17 against the Marlins and Sept. 23 against the Braves. Strasburg could pitch on regular, four-days rest in Florida on Sept. 28, the Nationals’ last game.
The schedule will allow Strasburg to make his first four starts back from Tommy John surgery at home, but “I can assure you it has nothing to do with home or road,” Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said.
Johnson devised Strasburg’s schedule with pitching coach Steve McCatty, Johnson said, after they studied Jordan Zimmermann’s return from Tommy John surgery in 2010. Zimmermann received four days after his first major league start following Tommy John surgery, and for his next three starts he had five days of rest between starts.
“I wanted to do a similar thing with Stras, being as it was so successful with Zimmermann,” Johnson said.
As for this weekend’s pitching probables, the Nationals skipped Ross Detwiler, who had been scheduled the cancelled second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, in order to keep their weekend rotation intact. Rather than give every starter an extra day of rest, Johnson found it easier to have Detwiler “leapfrogged.”
Detwiler will instead pitch Monday against the Mets after Tom Milone, John Lannan and Strasburg face the Astros this weekend.