NEW YORK -- Hoping to limit Stephen Strasburg's innings during his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2010, the Nationals are expected to cut the ace right-hander's regular season short by two or three starts, according to a baseball source.
It's likely that Strasburg, who has thrown 133 1/3 innings this season, will throw no more than 180, although according to the source, the righty could exceed 160, which was originally believed to be his limit for the season.
The same source went so far as to say that Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason once he is shut down.
Strasburg, who is expected to pitch against the Giants on Wednesday afternoon, is 13-5 with a 2.90 ERA and is tied for the National League lead in strikeouts with 166. He also has a 2.12 ERA during afternoon games, which is third best in the NL.
If Strasburg doesn't pitch in the postseason, the NL East-leading Nationals would likely use four starters in a series, with a fifth starter working out of the bullpen.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.