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Posted: Wednesday August 22, 2012 7:36PM ; Updated: Wednesday August 22, 2012 7:47PM

Strasburg could miss final 2 to 3 starts, Nats' manager Johnson says

Story Highlights

The Nationals are on track for their first postseason appearance since 1933

NL strikeout leader Stephen Strasburg is thought to be on an innings limit

Nats manager Davey Johnson says the star could miss his last 2-3 starts

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Stephen Strasburg is 15-5 for the NL East-leading Nationals.
Stephen Strasburg is 15-5 for the NL East-leading Nationals.
Chuck Solomon/SI
MLB Team Page

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson says Stephen Strasburg could miss his final two or three turns in the rotation during the regular season.

In his first full season following elbow ligament replacement surgery, Strasburg is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA and a National League-leading 183 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 145 1/3 innings, and the Nationals are thought to have given him a limit of 160-180.

"I think it came out that with the off days, we'd need another starter for I think two starts,'' Johnson said after talking with general manager Mike Rizzo. "I think two starts, might have been three.''

Washington began the day with a seven-game lead in the NL East, putting the city on track for postseason play for the first time since 1933.

The Nationals followed a similar plan last season with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. The 26-year-old right-hander is 9-7 with a 2.54 ERA that ranks second in the NL.

"It's funny, there wasn't anything said when we shut down Zimmermann,'' Johnson said.

Last year, Johnson announced a pitcher for Zimmermann's slot before he had the chance to inform all involved. He intends to change that this year.

"Everybody in the world will know about this one,'' Johnson said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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