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Nationals to go easy on Strasburg

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VIERA, Fla. (AP)

Stephen Strasburg will follow the same path as Washington Nationals teammate Jordan Zimmermann in his comeback from elbow-ligament replacement surgery.

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Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Monday that Strasburg will be limited to 150-160 innings this season. Zimmermann threw 161 1/3 innings last year following surgery and hopes to reach 200 this season.

The 23-year-old Strasburg told reporters Sunday he feels more natural throwing the ball now than he did last September, when he made five starts after recovering from the surgery. He also said at the time he had not been told how many innings he would be limited to this season.

Though there might be a temptation to have Strasburg skip a few starts in order to extend his year, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Monday that was not in the team's plans.

''There's not going to be a whole lot of tinkering going on,'' Rizzo said. ''We're going to run him out there until his innings are done . . . He's a young pitcher that's still learning how to pitch in the big leagues. I think it's unfair to get him ramped up in spring training and start the season on a regular rotation and then shut him down or skip him. We're just going to make him comfortable.''

Tagged: Nationals, Stephen Strasburg

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