VIERA, Fla. - Manager Davey Johnson has made some tweaks to his starting rotation for the next few days.
This means John Lannan’s turn in the rotation will be skipped, but Johnson says he plans to piggyback Lannan with Strasburg on Saturday, with both guys getting 60-70 pitches.
It will be Strasburg’s final start before opening day, and Johnson is opting to give him five days in between starts now after he threw 84 pitches last time out, rather than after this upcoming start, when his workload will be decreased.
Also, Johnson is allowing for the possibility that the opener needs to get backed up a day because of the weather. If Strasburg went into the opening day start on five days rest and then the April 5 game in Chicago was postponed because of rain or snow, he’d have to pitch the next day with six days in between starts.
Lannan’s appearance on Saturday will mark his second relief outing this spring, and if he needs more work, he could also get an inning in relief in the exhibition game against the Red Sox at Nats Park on April 3.
Meanwhile, Johnson said today that he plans to have Michael Morse and Drew Storen go north with the team once camp breaks, instead of having them remain in Viera to continue their rehab.
“I like to keep them close to me, kind of like a protective father,” Johnson said. “I want to see my children close before I send them into somebody else’s care.”
Johnson has yet to decide what he’ll do with Chien-Ming Wang, who is continuing to make strides - literally - in his rehab from a strained hamstring. Wang has now progressed to the point that he was walking the steps inside Space Coast Stadium today under the watchful eye of a trainer.
Wang could either go north with the Nats or stay in Viera, as he’s further along from a possible return than both Storen and Morse.