Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Thursday that pitcher Stephen Strasburg probably will make just two or three more starts this season before being shut down.
Johnson told reporters that he told Strasburg on the plane on Wednesday night he "has a few more [starts] to go."
Johnson also said there is a specific plan to shut Strasburg down, although he did not reveal it.
Strasburg's next start is scheduled for Sunday. Unless there is a rainout or some change in the rotation, his final start likely would be Sept. 7 against Miami or Sept. 12 against the New York Mets.
Strasburg is not scheduled to pitch in the postseason.
On Tuesday, Strasburg had one of the worst outings of his career, yielding seven runs (five earned) in five innings against the Marlins.
Strasburg has pitched 150 1/3 innings, and he reportedly is being limited to between 160 and 180 innings after having Tommy John surgery in late 2010.
For the season, Strasburg is 15-6 with a 3.05 ERA.