Apr 3, 2012, 11:59 PM EDT
Faced with a decision to go with an established-though-unspectacular pitcher or a promising-though-unproven pitcher at the back end of their rotation, the Nationals today made the surprising move to go with potential over experience.
The Nationals optioned left-hander John Lannan, a two-time Opening Day starter and last year's staff leader in wins and innings pitched, to Class AAA Syracuse and announced former first-round pick Ross Detwiler will begin the season as their No. 5 starter.
"It was a difficult decision, just because of who John Lannan is, what he means to the franchise and what he's done for us in the past," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "But I look at it this way: Detwiler earned the job. He deserved the job. It was a prudent baseball move, for the current Nationals and for the future Nationals."
The stunning move came as the Nationals finalized their 25-man roster in advance of Thursday's season opener against the Cubs. In addition to Lannan's demotion, the club placed outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel and right-handers Drew Storen and Chien-Ming Wang on theRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Former Nats catcher Chris Snyder retires from MLB
- Bryce Harper's 'nothing but hustle' Nats magazine (PHOTO)
- Espinosa making most of his playing opportunity
- Strasburg, Nats hope to turn page vs. Cardinals
- Harper, Williams and Werth on benching (VIDEO)
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals