Zimmermann is already at 115 innings and is expected to make seven more starts this season. The original plan was to have Zimmermann get a lot of rest between starts after the All-Star break.
"I wasn't sure that was the best way to finish out this year," Johnson said. "I think regular work, regular side throwing until he runs out of innings, and then let him rest."
Zimmerman is clearly the Nats' best pitcher this season. He is 6-7 with a 2.66 ERA in 18 starts and leads the team with 82 strikeouts entering Friday's game.