WASHINGTON -- Davey Johnson will be watching next week's All-Star Game with an eye on his two pitchers in the game, with special interest in their pitch counts.
Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez will be making their first and second All-Star appearances, respectively, and how much action they see Tuesday night in Kansas City could affect the Nationals' starting rotation once play resumes after the break. The Nats open a four-game series against the Marlins in Miami on July 13, and Johnson said Gonzalez is likely to start the series opener -- effectively moving Strasburg to the back end of the rotation to open the season's second half.
"[With Strasburg], I may see where that puts me if I put him at the back of the line, see where that brings him," Johnson said. "It's not a major thing. I wouldn't be doing it because he needs the extra rest, but more to see where he ends up."
Johnson added that he expects both pitchers to take the mound in the All-Star Game. Strasburg, who has posted a 9-3 record and 2.81 ERA, has been pitching under an innings limit of 160 that could potentially curtail his availability later in the season.
"I have no clue how many innings I'm going to throw this year," Strasburg said. "I've answered that question multiple times, and nobody's said anything to me. I feel great right now."