[UPDATE AT 7:25 P.M. -- Read my full, updated story on Lannan's demotion, including quotes from Mike Rizzo, Jim Riggleman and Steve McCatty, on CSNwashington.com.]
The Nationals have optioned struggling left-hander John Lannan to Class AA Harrisburg, a surprise demotion for the man who started Opening Day each of the last two seasons.
Lannan, 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA, had a 10.38 ERA over his last three starts but insisted his arm felt fine after dealing with elbow issues last month. The Nats elected to send him all the way to Harrisburg instead of Class AAA Syracuse, manager Jim Riggleman said, because of his familiarity and previous work with Senators pitching coach Randy Tomlin.
Reliever Joel Peralta was promoted from Syracuse to take Lannan's roster spot and will be available to pitch out of an eight-man bullpen tonight. To make room on the 40-man roster for Peralta, the club transferred pitcher Garrett Mock from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
Ross Detwiler also has been re-instated from the 60-day DL, but the left-hander has been optioned to Harrisburg, where he'll continue to work his way back from hip surgery. He could join the Nats' rotation at some point, but Riggleman said he likely wouldn't be the immediate replacement for Lannan.
The Nationals won't need another starter until next Tuesday in Atlanta. Craig Stammen, who has pitched well at Syracuse since his demotion earlier this month, is a strong candidate to be recalled.
More to come...