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John Lannan is expected to join the Nats' rotation between Sept. 14-16.
Except there's nowhere for the left-hander to pitch tonight. The minor-league season has ended, and Edwin Jackson is starting for the Nationals against the Cubs.
The Nationals won't need Lannan until Stephen Strasburg makes his final start (scheduled for Sept. 12) and is shut down, opening a spot in their rotation. So what will he do until then?
The plan, as outlined by manager Davey Johnson today, calls for Lannan to throw on the side and keep his arm fresh, but not to appear in a game for at least another five days. Even then, he'll only pitch an inning or two out of the bullpen.