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Davey: Lannan is 5th starter [updated]

Mar 26, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
John Lannan is scheduled to make two more spring starts, including today.

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

VIERA, Fla. — With Chien-Ming Wang likely to open the season on the disabled list while recovering from a hamstring injury, manager Davey Johnson this morning confirmed what had long been assumed: John Lannan will open the season as the Nationals' No. 5 starter.

"John's my guy," Johnson said. "I like John. And John can pitch. He led our club last year in wins."

Lannan, who went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA in 33 starts last season, looked like the odd man out of the Nationals' crowded pitching staff when camp opened and was a strong candidate to be traded. But once Wang injured his left hamstring March 15 trying to make a play at first base, Lannan stepped in to take over his slot in the rotation.

Lannan made the first of two final Grapefruit League starts today and turned in one of his best performances of the spring: Over five innings against the Astros, he allowed two runs on two hits, striking out fiveRead more ยป

  1. SonnyG10 - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Sure glad we still have Lannan to count on. Would like to see Wang recover and take the job away from him…unless John is lights out of course.

  2. Section 222 - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    And John can pitch. He led our club last year in wins.Non-sequiter of the year.Of course, this could be part of the PR strategy to build up his value if Rizzo is still shopping him.

  3. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Nice to hear that Davey has set the rotation.

  4. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Of course, this could be part of the PR strategy to build up his value if Rizzo is still shopping him. I really don't think MLB GMs are much influenced by stuff like that. As far as I know.

  5. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Oh, yeah, and B25GN!

  6. blovy8 - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Ugh, I predict more advanced stat hand-wringing. What'll we do when Lannan keeps putting up above-average numbers?

  7. bdrube - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Poor John is like medicine. He's just the thing to cure your back-of-the-rotation woes, yet nobody wants to take him. :)

  8. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Did the Nats get Lannan back? I read on this blog that he was going to get traded several weeks ago.

  9. Cwj - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Blovy8- In that case hopefully the Nats keep him in the 5th spot, though when Wang comes back who knows what will happen to Lannan.Davey is definitely right about not putting Lannan in the bullpen. I doubt he would flourish there.

  10. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    John needs to be bullish on the mound to keep Wang well away…

  11. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Apparently, AL GM's think Lannan would get slaughtered in the AL with the DH.Heyman: #tigers interest in lannan only lukewarm at best. 1 exec says al teams are leery of what league switch would do. #natsLannan isn' t that good. At some point soon Wang will be ready and then what? Lannan doesn't pitch out of the bullpen as Davey clearly states? He isn't as adaptable as Gorzo and even Detwiler.Of course he is still on the trade block. Its just a matter of the right team with the right rash of injuries … but it sure seems like it will be an NL team.

  12. upperdeck4 - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Sorry, but it's going to be difficult again this season watching Lannan labor through 5+ innings each start and getting routinely crushed by the Phillies. Would much prefer Detwiler getting the slot.

  13. Cwj - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Anon 1:18- I bet the Orioles would be interested in Lannan.Other than them, yeah I doubt an AL team would take Lannan.But who knows?Anyway good thing he's still a Nat, with Wang injuring himself every few months.

  14. fpcsteve - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Good for Lannan. I've heard serious baseball fans say you can never have enough pitching. I'm glad he is with us and did well today.

  15. natsfan1a - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Atta way, Johnny.

  16. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    #Beware!Reepacheep has loosened his slide-rule from his scabbard … ready for action …Oh dadgum it! My pocket protector didn't work … hey the ink stain looks like Jayson Werth the Geico Caveman!

  17. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Ugh, I predict more advanced stat hand-wringing. What'll we do when Lannan keeps putting up above-average numbers?If Lannan learns to be the pitcher Tommy Milone is he will improve those number dramatically. What does that mean? NO WALKS. NO XBH with men on. LOW pitch count to get into the 7th inning consistently. Its not beyond Lannan mayhap, but he should have gotten the wake up call when he was sent to AA. THIS IS the final wake up call for John Lannan.

  18. HHover - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    THIS IS the final wake up call for John Lannan.What the heck does that mean? They're paying him $5M and giving him a slot in a much improved rotation, and that's a "wake-up call" comparable to a demotion to AA?

  19. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I think it means when Wang comes back he gets sent to AAA instead of AA because he is worthless in relief.

  20. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Unless, of course, by that time, somebody else goes out.

  21. realdealnats - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    For the last three months have predicted Lannan as #5 lefty starter, with Det in the pen and Wang on DL. Not b/c I don't want to see Det's upside more, but it's just the way it is. I don't know baseball like so many of you guys, but I'm psychic, what can I say. Lannan can be boring and somewhat mediocre, but in the pinch he seems to have the capacity to overachieve and pitch decently into the 6th. Wang, who I wish well, and who looked really good for…1 game…he can't be counted on health-wise. Talk of him stealing Lannan's job away is dreaming. Not b/c of talent–but health and longevity. He might start this year, but b/c someone else goes down, and not until mid-season or later. I don't know how this might happen–and it might actually include Lannan going to AAA later in the season, but I'd like to see Det take over #5, maybe in June or July, with Stammen in the pen as a long righty. Also wish Mattheus could miraculously end up there–probably necessitated by someone going on DL. That would seem to have everyone in the proper role. Plenty of fodder for ridicule here for all the anons.

  22. Kettle calling Pot Black - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Plenty of fodder for ridicule here for all the anions.Methinks we get ridiculed more.

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