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07/13/12 7:50 PM ET

Nats sticking with plan for Strasburg innings limit

MIAMI -- When it comes to All-Star righty Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals plan to stay the course.

The team announced in April that Strasburg, who returned from Tommy John surgery, would be limited to 160 innings this season. After the All-Star break, manager Davey Johnson said that plan hasn't changed.

Prior to the break, Strasburg said he had "no clue" as to how many innings he would throw this season, and added that "nobody's said anything" to him about an innings limit.

The righty threw 99 innings in 17 starts en route to a 9-4 record with a 2.82 ERA in the first half of the season, and he leads the National League with 128 strikeouts. At his current pace, Strasburg would reach the 160-inning limit by his 28th start of the season, which would likely be in early September.

That won't prevent the Nationals, who sit atop the National League East, from shutting down the All-Star righty during the final stretch of the season.

"I'm a stubborn guy," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We're not going to change the direction that we think is best for the player and best for the franchise, so we're going to do what's best for the player."

Storen to build back arm strength before return

MIAMI -- The Nationals made it 83 games without closer Drew Storen. They'll have to wait a few more for his return.

Storen, who has been sidelined all season following right elbow surgery in April, was expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday, but those plans were put on hold following his rehab outing for Class A Potomac on Thursday.

Storen threw two innings Thursday and had good command, but his arm felt tired in his second inning of work, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

"The consensus from the coaches that watched him is that his arm strength isn't quite where it needs to be," Johnson said.

The plan now is for Storen to take Friday and Saturday to rest before making another two-inning rehab outing Sunday, this time for Double-A Harrisburg. The hope is that following that outing, the Nationals will be able to activate Storen.

Storen recorded 43 saves for Washington last season while posting a 2.75 ERA and striking out 74 while walking 20.

"I think Drew is champing at the bit, because he's been out all Spring Training and the first three months of the season," Johnson said. "Our concern is that he's ready and he doesn't have to [put] extra stress on his arm when he gets up here. We're just making sure his arm is ready before, so we don't have any problems once he gets here."

Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.