Strasburg left his last start after just four innings with discomfort in his back. Though the pitcher threw on flat ground on Wednesday with no pain, Williams didn't want to push his recovery.
“[Strasburg] has to get through the bullpen, which doesn't allow enough time [to make a start],” Williams said. “We have to make sure he feels good letting [the ball] go.”
Strasburg has dealt with injuries for much of the year, and has made just 18 starts. However, he has excelled in his most recent outings after coming off the disabled list, posting a 2.70 ERA in five starts.
The righthander's late-season comeback is vital to the Nationals as their postseason hopes fade. Strasburg's return could come in the Nationals' next series against the Mets, who currently lead the NL East by 6 1/2 games.
Tanner Roark will be called up to take Strasburg's turn against the Braves. Roark was sent down on Aug. 25 after being with the Nationals since the beginning of the season. He has a 4.54 ERA in 34 appearances with six starts this year after posting a 2.85 ERA in 31 starts last season.
- Erin Flynn