Johnson said that he was in a meeting with general manager Mike Rizzo and they came to the conclusion that they would need a starter to replace Strasburg for at least two or three starts. It already has been reported that Strasburg will not participate in the postseason, with the Nats going with a four-man rotation in October.
Strasburg is on an innings limit after having Tommy John surgery in late 2010. He could pitch between 160 to 180 innings, and he has thrown 145 1/3 innings after Tuesday night's win.
If he misses the last three starts of the regular season, Strasburg's final start could be Sept. 12 against the Mets. If Strasburg misses the final two starts, his last start could be on Sept. 19 against the Dodgers, if the Nats stay with their five-man rotation without skipping anyone's turn despite two team off-days, on Sept. 13 and 17.
"I don't think the innings and numbers are cut in stone. The science is not exact. So, there is a little leeway there," Johnson said, "But that is down the road."
Strasburg has yet to be told the team's plans, but he is expected to be told before his last start of the season.
In his start on Tuesday, Strasburg had a great outing in a 4-1 victory over the Braves. He dealt with a 51-minute rain delay after pitching 2 2/3 innings. After the delay, Strasburg was back on the mound and struck out six more batters, including the side in the fifth inning. He struck out a total of 10 batters in six innings to earn his 15th win of the season.