Perhaps you've heard this already, but Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to return to the majors tomorrow.
He'll make his first start against the Dodgers tomorrow night since having Tommy John surgery last year. He's scheduled to throw four innings and about 60 pitches, but that comes with a caveat: There is rain in the forecast, and if Strasburg warms up at all, he'll either start the game or get bumped back to another day - the Nationals won't have him warm up, sit down through a delay and come back after rain subsides.
"If he warms up and it rains, we'll probably have to do it another day," Johnson said.
Wilson Ramos is slated to catch Strasburg tomorrow, though Johnson expects he'll have his other two catchers - Ivan Rodriguez and Jesus Flores - lobbying for the assignment. Rodriguez, in particular, figures to be pushing for the job.
"Pudge is probably going to be politicking for it," Johnson said. "I love him, and I'm sure he can handle it and do a great job. But I'm going to go with my regular catcher."
While the level of anticipation for Strasburg's return isn't as great as it was for his major league debut last year, there's still rampant curiosity about the 23-year-old, who lit up Nationals Park in his 14-strikeout debut last year and posted a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts. Johnson, who managed Strasburg in the 2008 Olympics, is near the front of the list of those anxious to see Strasburg.
"He was the only amateur I had on the Olympic team," Johnson said. "There was somebody from the Dodger chain at the time that was all over him - it might have been the first baseman, switch hitter (Terry Tiffee), but they were calling him 'Collegedale' and all kinds of stuff. But after he threw (six no-hit innings against the Dutch), he was one of the boys, I think. They quickly warmed up to him. They were on him like you wouldn't believe, and he was fine. I don't know that I could have handled it as well as he did."