On a strict, every-fifth-day schedule, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg would make his next start on Monday — which happens to be the team’s only scheduled off-day of the spring. As a result, the Nationals will push him back a day, until Tuesday night at Port St. Lucie against the Mets.
The Nationals had the option of keeping Strasburg on his regular rest by pitching him in a minor-league game Monday, but pitching coach Steve McCatty said the team had planned all along to give each of its starting pitchers at least one extra day of rest at some point this spring — and this was a natural spot for Strasburg’s.
“We’re going to do this with all our guys,” McCatty said. “They’ve been going at it pretty good for awhile now.”
Indeed, moving Strasburg to Tuesday will push the Nationals’ entire rotation back by one day. The team has yet to reveal the order of its starting rotation — other than saying injured right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is slotted into the No. 5 spot — but the current order midway through spring training suggests an opening week rotation of Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Edwin Jackson, in that order.
In order for Strasburg to start on opening day (April 5 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field), he would need one additional extra day of rest between now and then.