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Stephen Strasburg's schedule the rest of the way

Manager Jim Riggleman confirmed Stephen Strasburg will start every five days -- not games -- until shortly before the All-Star break. After the All-Star break, while limiting Strasburg's major league innings to somewhere between 100 and 110, the Nationals plan on spacing his starts out in order to keep Strasburg pitching into September.

"Guys who have been here -- Livo, Atilano, Lannan -- they've been carrying the load," Riggleman said. "Stephen has been down below, he's been throwing 50-some pitches, 70-some pitches -- a little lighter load. I think it's a great time for him to stay on this schedule that he's on."

Unless weather or injury alters the Nationals' plan, Strasburg's next five starts will come June 13 in Cleveland, June 18 at home against the White Sox, June 23 at home against the Royals, June 28 at Atlanta and July 3 at home against the Mets.

While the Nationals will rely on Strasburg for the immediate future, they will rest him often after the All-Star break. "There will be a point where we just shut him down for a while or really minimize his innings," Riggleman said. "We want him to pitch in September, so some of that shutdown may be before September."

If the Nationals remain in contention deep into the year, shutting down Strasburg will become a welcome dilemma. The Nationals will shut him down once he reaches 160 innings -- minors and majors combined -- no matter what, even if it means sitting their best pitcher in a playoff race.

"That would be very hard," Riggleman said. "I hope we have to make that decision. That would be tough, but we want to make sure this young man is pitching for years to come. We may be being overcautious, but we'll err on that side."

The day after his start, Strasburg played in the rain in the Nationals Park outfield with starter Luis Atilano and tried his best to blend in. On Tuesday night, he celebrated by simply going home. "I needed some sleep," he said. With everything whirling around him, Strasburg managed to enjoy his first night as a major leaguer.

"It was a total blast," Strasburg said. "It was something that I've been waiting for my entire life and going out in front of a big crowd, and everybody's behind me and behind this team, it was an amazing feeling. I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life."

While adjusting to his new team, Strasburg has tried avoiding the massive attention heaped on him. His start ranked next to -- if not ahead of -- the NBA Finals in the sporting scene.

"I used to watch 'SportsCenter' all the time," Strasburg said. "Now there's just too much to watch, so I'm trying to find new channels to watch."

As Strasburg warily met with the media, he smiled when Livan Hernandez snuck into the media pack and grabbed a television reporters' microphone. Hernandez asked Strasburg how his family felt watching him.

"They were pretty excited for me," Strasburg said. "My dad, it was probably the first time I saw him break into tears a little bit, so it was pretty cool to see. I was just very happy to have them out here."

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 9, 2010; 6:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

Curious logic on the Nats part here. They'll keep Stras on a 5 day schedule, not a 5 game schedule. Which means that someone has to go on 7 days rest as they get skipped for Stras. And to add, they'll shut him down at after a certain number of innings, but if they pitched him every 5 games, he'd be available later in the year... Or they'll just shut him down for a while.

Seems to me that they create more problems than they solve....

Posted by: comish4lif | June 9, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

That makes no sense unless they want to payback Angelos so the Nats can skip the Orioles series entirely. If that is their objective, then way to go!

Angelos doesn't deserve a dime from the Nats as he grabs that large share from MASN already and was the main reason the price of the franchise was driven up so high.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 9, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh...so, any reason why FOX is now nationally broadcasting the Nats/Sox game on the 19th if Stras' is supposedly pitching on the 18th?

Posted by: jmorrisa | June 9, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Great pint Jmorrisa. Maybe because it is Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead night? LOL

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Angelos doesn't deserve a dime from the Nats as he grabs that large share from MASN already and was the main reason the price of the franchise was driven up so high.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 9, 2010 6:48 PM

Angelos will make a mint from every Stras start, regardless of whether it's in Balmore or not - MASN's doubling their ad rate and selling spots like gangbusters.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 9, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Angelos doesn't deserve a dime from the Nats as he grabs that large share from MASN already and was the main reason the price of the franchise was driven up so high.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 9, 2010 6:48 PM

Angelos will make a mint from every Stras start, regardless of whether it's in Balmore or not - MASN's doubling their ad rate and selling spots like gangbusters.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if it makes sense or not, but I'm not complaining because I have a ticket for the 18th regardless of who is pitching.

Posted by: marathoner | June 9, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Why stop at July 3? The next two starts would come on July 8 at home against the Padres and on July 13 in Anaheim for the All-Star Game.

Posted by: passaic75 | June 9, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Great pint Jmorrisa. Maybe because it is Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead night? LOL

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

And Baseball 101 for Women night. Sex and the Strasburg?

Posted by: jmorrisa | June 9, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

If he's going to pitch on the 18th, could Nats please move back the game on the 19th...back to 7:05?

The switch to an afternoon start is really playing havoc with my schedule.

Posted by: fischy | June 10, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Maybe this is my baseball ignorance shining through, but wouldn't the Nats rotation be on a 5 game schedule and not a 5 day schedule? If so, that would change Stras's starts and would put him starting the game here in Baltimore on the 25th, yes? Again, maybe I've been operating under the faulty assumption that they go by actual game days and not calendar days in the rotation.

Posted by: kungpow9960 | June 10, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

@kungpow -- there are no rules in this area. All teams used to have four-man rotations. Most go with a fairly strict five-man rotation now. However, the fifth pitcher is often a marginal pitcher -- so, some teams do skip the fifth starter if an off-day allows them to do this and stay on a 5-day schedule.

Posted by: fischy | June 10, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Good to see that we will not be doing what SO MANY other teams do and simply abuse youngsters arms with massive amounts of pitches and innings which increase his chance of injury and long-term success

This is the BEST WAY to keep him fresh and ready for the rest of this season and NEXT

Posted by: Bious | June 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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