Monday, July 16, 2012

Lannan likely to start Saturday

MIAMI -- John Lannan, who surprisingly lost his spot in the Nationals' rotation at the end of spring training and has been pitching at Class AAA Syracuse since, is expected to return to the big leagues Saturday and start one game of the Nationals' doubleheader against the Braves.

Asked who would be used to pitch that day, Davey Johnson didn't explicitly name Lannan. The Nationals manager said the club would promote one of three minor-league starters: Lannan, Yunesky Maya or Ryan Perry.

"So it'll be one of them," Johnson said before adding with a smirk: "Who do you think?"

Lannan, who is pitching tonight for Syracuse at Pawtucket, is best lined up to make the start. The 27-year-old left-hander enters tonight's game with a 6-8 record and 4.60 ERA in 17 total starts, but he's posted a 3.14 ERA over his last eight outings, allowing one earned run in five of those.

Lannan also has far and away the most big-league experience of the candidates, with a 38-51 ERA and 4.00 ERA in 128 career starts.

He was set to earn the final spot in the Nationals' Opening Day rotation over Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler, and during the final week of spring training, Johnson said "John's my guy" when asked if Lannan would open the season as his No. 5 starter.

But during the Nationals' final exhibition game on April 3, Johnson informed the left-hander (who has a $5 million guaranteed contract) he would be optioned to Syracuse and that the club was going with Detwiler instead.

Lannan then formally requested a trade, and general manager Mike Rizzo has since made inquiries to other clubs. No offers have met Rizzo's satisfaction, though, and the GM has wanted to keep Lannan in the system in case he's needed due to injury, a doubleheader or in September once ace Stephen Strasburg is shut down.

Lannan will most likely be recalled for only one day and then optioned back to Class AAA, and the Nationals won't need to remove anyone else from the roster to make room for him. Per the new collective bargaining agreements, teams are allowed to add a 26th player for doubleheaders.

13 comments:

realdealnats said...

Smart move on Davey's part to get him up for the Doubleheader w/o using up an option. Start to integrate him into the rotation either to pitch or trade.

T-Rex said...

Just out of curiosity, how does this not use an option? Is it a time limit thing? Also, where can you look to see how many a player has?

NatsJack in Florida said...

T-Rex......the new CBA allows for a 26 man roster for rescheduled double headers for adding a spot starter.

Jacob R said...

Having an option means you can be sent up and down freely throughout the season without having to pass through waivers. Lannan has one option left, meaning this is the last year he can be sent down to the minors without having to pass through waivers.

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's a free move to use anyone on the 40 man without using an option.

peric said...

Natsjack is saying that whoever the pitcher is they don't have to option him back. Right now Perry is pitching the best but he's still getting stretched out. He still remains on the minor league roster. Looks like its Lannan.

Feel Wood said...

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's a free move to use anyone on the 40 man without using an option.


They already used an option on Lannan this year when they sent him down at the start of the season. The new rule allows him to be brought up for the one day without having to remove someone else to make space for him.

Will said...

Hahaha, that's such a terrible photo of Lannan, but it's sadly appropriate. I imagine Lannan has had that same look on his face ever since he was demoted to Syracuse.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Feel Wood.....hence, a 26 man active roster for the day.

rabbit34 said...

Oh-NO!!!!!

sm13 said...

Glad for Lannan - even gladder it's not Maya!

natsfan1a said...

Well, I'll be rooting for you, John. :-)

Nats In Athens said...

If Lannan pitches well it will strengthen our hand as we get close to the trade deadline. With him as a viable option we will not seem as desperate to other teams when looking to get a pitcher to replace Strasburg in the rotation. Plus I have a soft spot for players who played their hardest when this team was not at its best. Would love to see him earn a permanent spot on the rotation, but only if he earns it and not because there is no other available player.

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