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Nats' Rizzo staying course on Strasburg plan

Nats' Rizzo staying course on Strasburg plan

Nats' Rizzo staying course on Strasburg plan
PHOENIX -- Following another report Friday about Stephen Strasburg's impending innings limit, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo reiterated at Chase Field that there is no specific number, and nothing has changed regarding the club's plan to shut down the young ace.

Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that Rizzo said Strasburg will not pitch more than 180 innings this season. MLB.com has previously reported that the limit is expected to range from 160-180 innings.

Strasburg entered Friday's start at Chase Field having thrown 127 1/3 innings, and if he maintains his current pace, he would barely surpass 180 innings by the end of the regular season.

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Rizzo will make the decision himself, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson said there hasn't been any increased communication or clarification about the limit as it draws nearer.

"None that I know of, but I know were going to do similar to what we did with Jordan Zimmermann," Johnson said. "There are highly educated people making that decision, so I'm just working with whatever they do."

Zimmermann is dealing with a lingering medical issue of his own, inflammation in his right shoulder that has given him trouble getting loose before his starts. He's pitched well despite the problem, but Johnson is holding him back a bit and closely monitoring his pitch count.

"It's still nagging," Johnson said. "Even though when you see him pitch, he looks fine, I don't want that inflammation to grow. I'm going to be on the short side of things. ... But I'll be concerned with the pitch count and the number of innings that he throws, a la Stras.

"Anytime I've heard that a player has a little injury of any kind, I try to not tax that. If it was a position player, I probably wouldn't have him stealing bases. If it's a starter, I'm going to limit the innings and number of pitches. Bullpen guy, more days of rest so that doesn't flare up."

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