With trade deadline looming, Nationals juggling rotation

We know this much: Chien-Ming Wang will start for the Nationals on Friday night, and Tom Gorzelanny will be available out of the bullpen in case Wang has trouble in his first start in two years.

Beyond that, the Nationals’ rotation up to and through the trade deadline is up in the air.

Jason Marquis is scheduled to start on Saturday night, but the Nationals are fielding trade offers for the right-hander. Jordan Zimmermann’s Sunday start should be all set, but manager Davey Johnson said he’s planning to start Gorzelanny on Monday if he doesn’t have to work too much in relief this weekend. And Livan Hernandez, who would start Monday, is scheduled to get pushed back a day unless the rotation changes.

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Essentially, Johnson is managing the rotation as though the Nationals are going to trade a pitcher away this weekend. Otherwise, he’ll have six pitchers in the rotation, at least for the time being, and while that might work once through the rotation, it’s not something the Nationals would use on a consistent basis.

“The trade deadline is coming,” Johnson said. “All that stuff I just told you could go out the window. ... I was explaining in the (team) meeting the other day that this kind of thing is up in the air, because you just really don’t know. I did tell the players there is a lot of interest in several players on our ballclub. Be that as it may, I know we’ll probably have at least one thing (happen with a trade).”

Johnson said Wang would throw between 80 and 90 pitches in his first start since July 2009, when he last pitched for the Yankees before having shoulder surgery.

“His first start coming up here after a couple years, he’s going to be a little more hyped,” Johnson said. “It’ll take a little more out of him. It’ll be kind of like a guy’s (first) start coming out of spring.”