Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez both could pitch for the National League team managed by Tony La Russa, and especially with Strasburg's looming innings limit for the season, Johnson is tentatively planning on adjusting his rotation after the break.
His plan, which he said has "a little better probability than 50 percent" of holding true, is to have Jordan Zimmermann start the Nats' first game after the break, on Friday night at Miami. Gonzalez will start the second game against the Marlins, with Strasburg, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler following suit.
"It could change, depending on what happens in the All-Star Game," Johnson said. "I was kind of thinking with Tony and knowing what he probably would do with my guys."
Though Strasburg and Gonzalez have been the two biggest names of the Nats' pitching staff, Zimmermann might have the team's most effective arm. His 2.70 ERA is the lowest among the starters and the seventh best in the NL. He has also been the Nats' workhorse, leading the team with 103 1/3 innings entering his start in Sunday's series finale with the Rockies.