Johnson: Nats have many deserving All-Star nod

Johnson: Nats have many deserving All-Star nod

Johnson: Nats have many deserving All-Star nod
ATLANTA -- For the first time since 2005, the club's first season in Washington, the Nationals could have more than one player selected to the All-Star Game, and manager Davey Johnson believes there could be a handful of them.

"I have a good feeling that we might have 3-4 on the ballclub," Johnson said Saturday. "And they're certainly deserving."

The All-Star teams will be unveiled Sunday on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS at 1 p.m. ET. The 83rd annual Midsummer Classic, played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, will be on FOX at 8 p.m. on July 10.

Johnson said he hasn't heard from National League manager Tony La Russa, but knows the former Cardinals skipper is keen on shortstop Ian Desmond. Pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper are also solid candidates.

Entering Saturday, the Nationals had baseball's best team ERA (3.12), and three pitchers -- Gonzalez, Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann -- with ERAs which ranked amond the NL's top 13. Strasburg -- who will have one more start before the All-Star break following Saturday's outing in Atlanta -- also leads the league in strikeouts.

But Johnson declined to speculate Saturday how Strasburg's possible selection for the team could impact his regimen moving forward.

"If he makes the All-Star Game, and if he pitches in it and how much they use him, that will determine it," Johnson said. "But more than likely, I'll wait and make the final decision after I see what happens on that Tuesday."