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Lannan to Syracuse, Detwiler is 5th starter

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 »

125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Wow.. just a stunner. I hope John does well in Cuse. I hope WHEN (not IF) he gets back up here, he does well.Good day at the park and that UMP completely blew that call to end the game.

  2. Kirbs - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Wow, they played us with "John is our guy". Although now we have 5 guys who throw a minimum of 94 and have good breaking stuff. If we can hit (and get healthy) it may be a year to smile about.

  3. Joe Seamhead - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Ouch.

  4. LoveDaNats - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Good luck to John. I know this must be hard on him. so good to be back at the park today. and yeah, MicheleS …….really bad call. I almost popped a blood vessel yelling at the ump.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    AS PREDICTED Mark. For all the reasons I gave … not just his performance this spring but his ineffective pitching across the past three years using stats that are used by FanGraph's to calculate the WAR. This was Johnson not Rizzo Mark. ~Peric

  6. MurrayTheRed - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Wow. That's all I can say about this.

  7. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Based on talent and the best interests of the club, it was the right decision. Detwiler looked terrific against the Marlins. They are going to find out if he is finally ready. Lannen will want to be traded. I think Mike will try to accommodate that request, and John may end up in a better situation than he would have had here, out of the bull pen, had they not optioned him.Someone will want him sometime this year. He has been a real pro, never complaining about anything.This move tells me Rizzo and Davey are going all-in to win now. Laddie_Blah_ Blah

  8. The Fox - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    I like John but Rizzo's and Davey's reasoning is sound and Stammen had a great Spring and earned his job in the bullpen. Glad to see the baseball decision overruled the financial decision. With Wang coming up soon its hard to say whose place he will take.

  9. bdrube - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    On the one hand, this sucks for Lannan. On the other hand, there is no way given his limited raw talent that he would have accumulated enough service time at such a young age to become arbitration eligible and get a raise to $5 million for one year had the club's pitching not been in such disarray for so long.

  10. Unkyd - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I speculated, a few weeks ago, that if we wound up with these 5 SPs, we could call them The Five Dragons, 'cause they're all flamethrowers… I hope LannEn gets to play the Hero, at some point…

  11. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    With Wang coming up soon its hard to say whose place he will take. Unfortunately, injuries happen … Jackson did not look very good out there today … that's where Wang could end up if it continues. As for slots for Storen and Wang … Wang is tradeable in May and may look better to teams than Lannan. There's still time.

  12. sjm308 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Not really a wow except that Davey had said "John's my guy". This is the right move and the option was the key. If Wang was healthy this would be a non story. Either Stammen or Mattheus will go down when Wang is ready because again, they have options.I think Lannan must be pissed but he has a great contract and will handle this like a pro. It won't do him any good to go and pout. It's also not like he hasn't been down before.I like this move and not blowing a horn or anything, I mentioned this as a strong possibility when there were 3 pitchers vying for one spot.Detwiller has to be pumped!!Go Nats!ps: sorry I could not report more on the game but my ipad would not work in the park. Not sure why.

  13. Detwiler Rules - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    No surprise at all. Watch Detwiler's last few starts last season. Lannan is not in the same league as Detwiler.

  14. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Wow! Tough break for Lannan and an amazingly candid statement by Rizzo in Mark's piece above. I don't know if I agree. Detwiler definitely has more raw talent than Lannan, but Lannan is mentally tough, Detwiler hasn't proven that yet.Perhaps he will show it and he does need the opportunity, but I would have preferred Detwiler in long relief with Lannan as #5 and Stammen at AAA in case he's needed for long relief or starting.That way, Detwiler can step into the rotation. But, hey, Rizzo and Davey have forgotten more baseball than I'll ever know.And what's with the Braves snagging all these ex-Nats. Do they need them or are they going to pump them for info and then let them go later? I love Livan, but prefer he was somewhere outside the NL East!

  15. NatsFanJim - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Well, it had to happen. For years now many of us around the water cooler have agreed that any team with pennant aspirations would have a John Lannan as their 5th starter — at best. In this case, the Nats made the right choice: Detweiler is ready — very ready. Lannan, unfortunately, had to go.Now, to release a long time, loyal, and hard working player(not to mention Very Well Paid), in the dugout during the game is both classless and immature. Too bad. Right decision: wrong way to go about it.

  16. realdealnats - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Sad movies for Lannan. I was dead wrong about the FO choosing Lannan for their #5 lefty. But I'm happy Detwiler gets his chance. Thin or not, he has been pitching well since last September. Now's the time to see where he's at deep into games and for consecutive games. Good luck to Lannan. Selfishly, I hope we keep him in Cuse and bring him up if needed, or trade him to someone who is desperate and can give us good value for a really steady guy. Also happy Stammen and Mattheus are up in the bullpen. Most everyone seems to be in the place Davey wants them.

  17. baseballswami - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    I don't think the decision is necessarily wrong, however – Davey Johnson runs his mouth continuously and rarely thinks about what comes out. His "John's my guy" and then no, he's not is not the way to treat your veterans who have paid their dues. I know he is known as a player's manager, but he will lose credibility if he treats his players this way. Very tacky. He needs to stuff a sock in it. John may not be a spectacular pitcher, but he has been a classy guy who has done everything that was ever asked of him. I like Detweiler a lot and am glad to see him get a shot, I like Craig Stammen, too. The way this all went down kind of makes me sick to my stomach, though.

  18. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Best 25 go North. But one went a little further North.

  19. Rabbit - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    I wouldn't call Lannan to AAA a stunning move. What I call a stunning move is starting Jason Werth in right field on opening day! Oh, here I go again about Werth. Big score today against the Red Sox. Looks like a good year coming up and playoffs in 2013!! GO NATIONALS!!!!

  20. gonatsgo - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Swami – I hear you — I don't disagree, but for some reason this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  21. NatsFanJim - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I would have kept Durbin and demoted Stammen. Stammen has moments of brilliance, but can't seem to maintain that brilliance. Prediction: Stammen will be gone before the All Star break — maybe Waay before.

  22. baseballswami - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    But, hey — this news really overshadowed the game, didn't it? We had offense – and, Desi walked twice, hit a HR and was safe at the plate. Jackson – eh, whatever.

  23. Section 222 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    On the replay, it looks like the ump was right.. Great throw, and the catcher had the plate blocked. Impressive. The Lannan move is surprising, but probably the right one for the team's future. Has to be hard for Lannan to take, especially after being misled by Davey "John's my guy" Johnson several days ago. Seems like a Rizzo call to me. Davey was happy with Lannan. But Detwiler is ready for his shot. And maybe Rizzo wants to showcase him for a month and see what might be offered for him in the trade market, since Lannan isn't inspiring much interest.

  24. The Fox - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    sjmyou may be right that either Stammen or Mattheus are sent down because they have options but if Detwiller pitches well the reasoning of giving him the starting position doesn't hold water if you move back to the pen so quickly.No way barring injury doe Strasburg, Zimmermann, or Gio get sent down and when you are the GM and you ask the owner to write an 11 million dollar check I doubt you send Jackson down in April or early May. If Detwiller pitches poorly maybe you move him back to the pen but it still makes your long term reasoning look questionable at best. My best guess is that Wang's return is drawn out to see if an injury occurs.

  25. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Lannan will get paid more money this year to pitch in Syracuse than he will ever make in his life. I can't feel too sorry for him…Wonder if that 5 mill could have been spent to improve the team in other areas?

  26. FS - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    I don't know about this move. I feel bad for John.

  27. MurrayTheRed - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    If we were going to put the five that did the best during spring training it should be EJ going to AKA.

  28. NatsFanJim - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    You are right Rabbit — Werth is the Pink elephant in the room. Consider what they pay him, Werth is a huge embarassment to the club. A Journeyman player at best getting Mega Star money.

  29. NatsFanJim - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Why do I get this feeling that Wang is never, ever going to get completely healthy and will never pitch a full season without injury?

  30. Section 222 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I don't get to crow about a correct prediction or prescient question that often, so why not enjoy it while it lasts?The headline was "With Wang Ailing, Lannan Holds No. 5 Spot" and the first comment was:Section 222 said…Anyone going to ask DJ if Detwiler has a shot at that last rotation spot? And if he doesn't, why not?March 21, 2012 6:08 PM

  31. baseballswami - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    I don't know about you , but I am feeling very iffy about Jackson and he gets 11 mil this year, not five like Lannan. He just seems to lack consistency. It wasn't just today,either, I am just not all that impressed by him for the money we gave him.

  32. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Johnson should have kept his mouth shut until he made a FINAL decision. This is a total embarassment for a decent pitcher who is being paid $5 million. He deserved better treatment. He's probably pitched his last game for the Nats. I hope he gets a chance with another major league team.

  33. sm13 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    It's cold, baseball business. Now it is time for Ross to show he deserves the shot. I am glad to see Stammen make the team. He earned it this Spring and with his performance at the end of 2011. I still don't understand why Gorzo made the cut.Best wishes to John. He's meant a lot to the Nats for many years.

  34. NatsBrat - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Seems like Durbin's status with the club could have been manipulated better. I like Mattheus, but he had options, and I thought that Durbin had a better ST.Hey Desi and Espi walked to-day. Good time to buy your next lotto ticket!!!!!!

  35. Constant Reader - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Put me down as impressed with this decision. The Nats should find out in '12 whether they should consider Detwiler for one of the two potential slots in '13. The Nats should not trade Lannan for a bag of balls (e.g., the Nyjer Morgan deal) because he is a legitimate MLB starter and someone we will give the ball to should we need an additional starter during the year. It is the cold-blooded, appropriate baseball decision. I respect Rizzo, et al, for making this decision.

  36. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Agree with 222. Det deserved the shot. I said when Lannan was named fifth starter it was a smokescreen to up his value in the trade market. Lannan then went out and pitched poorly so Rizzo couldn't trade him. Classic GM move by trying to inflate your talent in the eyes of others. DEM

  37. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    The Nats just upgraded their entire pitching staff. Detwiler has a chance to become a pretty good starter, and Stammen is very versatile.Good move, but I definitely feel bad for Lannan.He'll no doubt request a trade at some point.

  38. HHover - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    I'm not stunned, but I am surprised–because of what Davey said, and because I figured that they would value 100s of IP in past years over 20 IP in ST. Here's hoping that Ross can live up to what's supposed to be his potential over the course of a long season, and here's hoping the Nats can get something more than a bag of balls and a cleat cleaner for Lannan–this move doesn't exactly enhance his trade value, which obviously wasn't that great to begin with.

  39. The Fox - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    baseballswamiEverything you need to know about Edwin Jackson is in this box score.http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=300625130

  40. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    This move says all you need to know about Rizzo. Heard him on the radio on the way home from the game, and he is such an arrogant prick. I have been harder on Lannan than anyone I know, but he does NOT deserve this!!! He is also a very well-liked member of this team, and an important member who has been through the lean years with Zimmerman. This is such a horrible move on so many levels and I can't imagine the players are happy about it. Rizzo needs to go back to being a scout. He has ZERO people skills and it is really starting to show!!! Lannan deserved the benefit of the doubt as the #5 guy to start the season. Period!!! Stupid Rizzon just spent $11 million on a #4 starter who may very well be worse than Lannan. From what I have seen, he has the potential to be much worse. Kind of funny how Rizzo bends over backwards for Werth, Gio, and Edwin Jackson but treats those who have produced very well for him like crap…Dunn, Lannan, Riggleman, etc. Great way to run a team.

  41. jeeves - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    It's reasonable to feel badly for Lannan, but I was feeling sorry for Detwiler who was the better pitcher this spring (and last Sept), and still was the odd man out, even though Lannan had an option. As a long reliever, Detwiler would have languished in the bullpen wasting a year of development. Good move Rizzo, but it's too bad Davey had made the premature comment about Lannan being the fifth starter.Now, despite the fact that I'm usually positive, I have to agree that Werth is my biggest concern. Despite the four homeruns, I see very little difference in this year's Werth. Practically every time I check the linescore, he is 0for. The Nats need the old Werth, the one before he became a Nat.Jane B and Unkyd, how do you like our boy, Desi. Hope I didn't jinx him by saying that.

  42. Tim - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    I think Detwiler looks ready and the Nats NEED to give him a chance to see what he has. I am glad they made the right call for the team. Lannan is gettin his well earned pay day at 'cuse this season. I also think that he is still in the nats long term plans. They need a #5 later this season when stras is shut down and next year as well.

  43. baseballswami - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    The Fox – I know all about his no-hitter — and he walked EIGHT people in that game. Seriously? That is just weird and seems to be him in a nutshell – inconsistent. Which half of that multiple-personality are we going to get?

  44. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    It's about time Detwiler gets his chance. Lannan has been mediocre at best. Let's hope the Nats get out of the gate fast. Teams like the Cubs , Mets, Astros are very beatable early in the season.

  45. bdrube - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    @Erik – So, we should have paid Dunn $52 million to suck for us like he did last year…and kept on Riggleman, who has never won anything as a manager…and kept the rotation loaded with crappy pitchers like Mock, Chico, Atilano and Martis just because they came up through our system? Heck, maybe we should have kept Kory Casto at Third Base. He was a two-time minor league player of the year for us, after all.Sorry, but I'd rather win baseball games. And to do that, sometimes you HAVE to be ruthless.

  46. The Fox - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    baseballswamiHe also threw 149 pitches the most by a starter in 5 years, add to that he had a wild pitch and he hit a batter. He is probably the closest thing MLB has to Nuke LaLoosh. You should keep the bourbon and maalox handy. Rizzo picked him up because he is every scouts dream, they all think that if they can just make a little adjustment they will have signed a beast.

  47. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Erik, calm down! First off, I love John Lannan and even when others have knocked him, I have supported him. Secondly, I feel very badly for him as he's been a terrific team player. Yet, I believe that Detwiler deserves the opportunity. He was very impressive at the end of last season and was impressive again this spring. Although, John Lannan is a solid pitcher, Detwiler has a chance to be special. I too have my concerns about Jackson, but he has "better stuff" than Lannan and has had somewhat better results in his career. That said, he really struggled this spring and I do not see him as a significant upgrade over John.Regarding Riggleman, if you want to be taken seriously, you should leave him out of your comments. He left the team on his own not honoring his contract. He tried to take personal advantage of a long winning streak. I cannot and I hope you cannot defend those actions.

  48. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    And if Detwiler is so good, how come he couldn't even make the rotation for 5 straight years (all of which Lannan did), much less beat out Lannan for the job in any of those years. They have both been here since 2007 and are only 1 year apart in age. This just sounds to me like Rizzo trying to show everyone he is the "boss." If I were Lannan, I would flat out refuse to pitch for the Nats if they tried to call me up in a few weeks. Plenty of teams out there that would take Lannan as a 5th guy if not better.

  49. John C. - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    It's hard to like this move; Lannan has made the most out of very limited raw stuff and has done whatever the team has asked him to do. It's not Lannan's fault that he was miscast as a #1 starter.That said, it would be hard to like the move of keeping Detwiler out of the rotation, or even Stammen out of the bullpen, because they've both outpitched Lannan for going back through Spring Training and through the last couple months of last season. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth if the team decided that it was going to pick players based on tenure rather than talent.CMW is an unknown, Jackson inconsistent and Detwiler is unproven. All have higher upside than Lannan but carry risks. That's why the team will not be trading Lannan. With Peacock, Milone and Meyers (who is injured, enabling the Yankees to hang onto him for a while) all gone and Maya essentially useless, the team needs starter depth for Syracuse. They now have it.I also expect that Lannan, being who he is, will do exactly what he did two years ago when he was sent down and will pitch better than ever in Syracuse and when/if called back up.

  50. JaneB - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    The one thing I hate about baseball (and New Brave Pitcher Durbin's Dad made it eloquently clear in the post about the Durbin-Braves signing) is that the business part of the game is so, so hard. I love John, and respect what he has done and been for us and know that to hear he is packing his bags for Syracuse instead of Chicago had to be a shock, after Davey anointed him the #5 guy. And yet Ross is also terrific. I'm glad, in times like these, that all I have to do is root for them.And may I just say that my heart is breaking a little bit for Pudge, who will start the day Thursday in front of his own TV set, for the first time in decades. I wish there were a Seniors League like in golf.

  51. John C. - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Erik, Detwiler couldn't make the rotation the last five years because Lannan was better. Detwiler made the rotation this year because he was better, and has been since August last year.If you were Lannan, you would refuse to pitch for the Nationals? You would shove $5 million out the window so you could stick it to the Man? Color me skeptical.

  52. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Bdrube-This has nothing to do with being ruthless. Lannan has been better than Detwiler for all 5 years they have been in the organization. He has earned the right to sink or swim on his own…in the regular season!!! How would you like it if you had worked side by side with somebody for 5 years, been better at your job, get demoted and watch him take your spot. All of those players you mentioned did not earn that right!!! And say what you want about Dunn, but when he was here, he performed. There is a certain way of treating people. It's called manners. These fish. These fish have manners!!!

  53. rogieshan - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    In retrospect, the move is no surprise. Lannan was drafted by the previous management team, and Detwiler was the first by Rizzo when he got hired.

  54. DC Tom - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    I have a feeling Lannen will be traded tomorrow, and that he was almost traded today. That would explain why they didn't tell him until last moment. I'm thinking that there is still some back and forth going on but the framework of a deal is in place. Lannen to Red Sox, Bard back to bullpen, fallout from Bailey's thumb injury…that's my guess.

  55. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Anon 9:25- I am not supporting Riggleman and his actions, only pointing out that a good GM doesn't let things get out of hand like that. What happens if Davey isn't there to clean up after Rizzo? Regarding Lannan, I think Detwiler may very well end up being the better pitcher, but he has to earn it in the regular season. Lannan earned the right to start the season as the #5. Now you have alienated a veteran player for no reason. A player who had a 3.73 ERA last year, no less.

  56. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    rogieshan said"Lannan was drafted by the previous management team, and Detwiler was the first by Rizzo when he got hired." BINGO! We have a winner.

  57. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Erik, u my friend are a world class idiot

  58. Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Anon at 9:54, I don't know if you're also Anon at 9:25. However, while I agree with everything the Anon said at 9:25, you're wasting your time arguing with Erik — he wrote a few days ago that he thought the O's position players were better than the Nats' almost across the board (maybe excepting RZim?). Having said that, I do appreciate Erik's giving his name consistently. Like JayB, that gives the rest of us the immediate option of scrolling past.

  59. Unkyd - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Wow, Erik.

  60. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    Anon 9:54-Big words from an anonymous poster. You also state your case so very eloquently!!! Feel free to come forward and present an argument. My guess is that you can't…and won't!!!

  61. diddleshy - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    What a disrespectful way to breaking the news. Shame on Davey.

  62. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Hey Steady Eddie-The Orioles scored 85 more runs than the the Nats did last year, without Brian Roberts, and were 14th in all of baseball. Seems to me that they might have a few players that can hit a little bit. Anybody who knows baseball would gladly take that lineup over the Nats, minus Zim and Morse.

  63. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    And some say he's not a troll.

  64. Gonat - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Anonymous said… AS PREDICTED Mark. For all the reasons I gave … not just his performance this spring but his ineffective pitching across the past three years using stats that are used by FanGraph's to calculate the WAR. This was Johnson not Rizzo Mark. ~Peric April 03, 2012 8:11 PM ___________________________You are so bright. We've only heard it against Lannan a few 100 times.

  65. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Lannan has been better than Detwiler for all 5 years they have been in the organization. He has earned the right to sink or swim on his own…in the regular season!!!Sorry Erik, I wouldn't go as far as that other anon … but of course they will blame me for it … ~laughing~ but, again, I think you are wrong.I probably would be characterized as the biggest Lannan basher and one of the earliest. I don't believe I am I am going by performance … THREE YEARS worth of regular season performances … which point to the very reason Lannan is ineffective in relief. As the stats I produced time-and-again show Lannan actually was the least effective starter in the rotation THREE YEARS running now. His time has run out … he needed to be flawless this spring given his unbiased stats and his inability to pitch in relief. He wasn't. Davey probably waited until the last minute … because you never know … injuries do occur. I do believe Davey did not want to have to do what he did and it was his idea not so-called arrogant Rizzo's. It was all on Davey and he said as much. You need only look at Lannan's unbiased stats, the ones they use to calculate players' WAR. JD Martin was a more effective starter than Lannan. As was Atilano. Their best pitcher the past two years after Zimmermann was LIvan Hernandez at 35 going on 45 years old. Livan became the ace after his performance in 2010. Not John Lannan. How is it that #5 starter Livan Hernandez was better than someone in his mid twenties? Its not Livan is anyone's idea of flamethrower.Lannan is a AAAA pitcher … I wish it weren't the case but it is.~peric

  66. baseballswami - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Let's not start the name-calling. Obviously this move has been very shocking. Even though everyone seems to agree that Lannan has never been the new-age "power arm" kind of guy – he has been family. It's not the move that was made – it's HOW that move was made that is the problem. You have that conversation on the last day, in the dugout, during a game? Some posters may be going to extremes with their language on all sides, but the fact remains that this was not handled in a very respectful way. Rizzo and Johnson may be smart baseball guys but they have acted like jerks more than once. Davey is in the right city – he is a politician all the way and tells the players and fans what they want to hear at the moment. Tomorrow – it will probably change.

  67. whatsanattau - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    John, thank you for your long and devoted service these past few years and in the future. I enjoy watching you pitch – I especially enjoy watching the double plays induced. I always imagined that you were truly maximizing your talent – squeezing the best results possible out of your ability. I mean that as a strong compliment. I will be rooting for your in Syracuse and while I hope no one gets injured, I will be looking forward to seeing you up here again soon.

  68. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    You are so bright. We've only heard it against Lannan a few 100 times.Actually, I am. And so are sunderland and others … there are at least a few of us who can look at players' objectively even when they are favorites. So far mine have been JD Martin, Mikey Morse, Ryan Mattheus, and yeah, Tommy Milone. Milone is what John Lannan should be!!!! By now people c'mon!! Or at least Buehrle. He's not. There's still time, he's young but he has to bust his butt and change a lot about the way he pitches to get there.

  69. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I remember Lannan putting something in his cap to remind him of the last time he went down to AAA, and how he was going to work his butt off so he would never go back. So, as a human being, I feel bad for him. Also, it can't have been a total shock to him that he was optioned, reporters asked him about it, and about trade rumors, and he said the usual cliches–and that's a good thing. But as a player, sorry, too many losses to the Phillies, too many early exits that used up the bullpen, he's just not a good enough pitcher for this team in 2013, and we need to find out this season if Detwiler is. The most telling comment by Rizzo was "there was only lukewarm interest." To me that means Rizzo did try to shop Lannan, but couldn't get takers–not even Atlanta ;). I'll hope for the trade mentioned above, to the Red Sox…just not for a bag of beans.It turned out Spring Training was a showcase for Chad Durbin, and so be it. There is simply no place in the bullpen for him when Storen returns, I'm glad the Nats did the decent thing and gave him his release right away rather than keeping him a couple of weeks and then releasing him. It's a shame because he seems like a decent guy and I really appreciated his Dad's comments, and A, B, or C reliever could get injured tomorrow and we regret releasing Durbin, but you can only go with the information you have. Well, that was a run-on sentence…I looked at the re-play. Still think Desi was safe. It was weird at the park, first Nats fans cheering their brains out, and then suddenly Red Sox fans cheering, sort of sheepishly.

  70. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Some posters may be going to extremes with their language on all sides, but the fact remains that this was not handled in a very respectful way.No, I think Johnson decided to do it that way in order for Lannan to sneak away and not be interviewed … I think Johnson was waiting until the last minute … there's always a chance of an injury … look at Wang? Think about it, Johnson and Rizzo knew they would get an enormous amount of flack. It is not something they truly wanted to do. BUT, it was the right move. Lannan can't pitch in relief. Even Wang has pitched in relief in the past. They (Rizzo and Johnson) really do feel bad about this as much as some folks here would like to characterize it the other way. I am sure they did not want to go to arbitration with John. But they did and look who won. You have to wonder what was said in that hearing? Didn't that give Lannan enough of a warning? That plus all else? It really should have.Syracuse is definitely short starters and Stammen looks better than Lannan right now … yet Stammen may yet be optioned to AAA Syracuse before too much time passes. ~peric

  71. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Peric – I don't know you but I find your gloating about Lannan getting demoted as a bit disrespectful.

  72. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Peric– I think you are onto something there. If this had been announced before the game, The press would have been all over Lannan. He would have got "keep your chin up" remarks from his well-meaning teammates. This way he ducks out and has time to recover his composure. And you said what I said in my post, this CAN'T have been that much of a surprise. Is Mattheus out of options? If not, wouldn't you option him before Stammen?

  73. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Anon @10:59, I re-read Peric's post, I don't see the "gloating." It's legit to ask, why did Lannan go to arbitration? Does he have a better image of himself as a pitcher than reality, or was it just a pro forma move by his agent?

  74. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Peric-Lannan has averaged 6 Innings/Start, and gives up on average about 2.5 runs per start. I would gladly take that from a number 5 pitcher on a consistent basis (which is what he has been). I would take that from my #3 or #4 starter for that matter. All of those other stats are meaningless guidelines for evaluation of a pitcher. Take out the Philly games (who definitely have his number) and those stats are even better. WAR means very little to me when a guy like Robert Andino is rated higher than Ryan Howard, Nelson Cruz or Eric Hosmer. Lannan definitely has room for improvement, but he is also just now entering his 27 year old season. With our bullpen, 5-6 solid innings on a consistent basis gives you a chance to win every game. Detwiler made it more than 6 innings 2 times last year and had a 4.5 ERA in AAA. I'm sorry, but that should not "earn" a spot in the rotation. Just because he has better stuff, doesn't mean he is a better pitcher. Hopefully he will be, as I just want to win. The situation was just handled very poorly.

  75. A DC Wonk - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Lannan has been better than Detwiler for all 5 years they have been in the organizationSo what?The question is: who's going to be better this year. I've been a big booster of Lannan, but even I can see that Detweiler clearly has more up-side. Will Det prove to be better? Can he pitch into the 7th inning with any consistency? I don't know. But I do know that he had a heck of a Sept, and good ST, and for a team that wants to go all out: it's worth a roll of the dice to see.

  76. Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    NatsLady — agree with all your comments, and do feel badly at a human level for Lannan — I still think he's a perfectly credible 5th starter for a contender but it's a clear demonstration of their dramatic improvement that the Nats simply had better options (literally and figuratively). And agree that Desi was safe — a great throw by Repko and strong effort to block the plate but the opposite side replay shows Butler's foot being pushed backwards before the tag. It's what Carp said, a "time to go" call by the ump. The good thing is that, coming in a ST game, the Nats' moral victory in tying (the best part is, all from Desi and Espi's good work!!) is worth every bit as much as a ST win to the Sox.Sending Lannan down was a cold but logical business decision, and class or not is much in the eye of the beholder (to me, what they did with Durbin was classy). The part that was dumb was Rizzo encouraging or allowing Davey to say the "John's my guy" thing, clearly as a way of trying to boost his trade value. This suggests to the clubhouse that anyone who's not 100% secure of their role may not be able to trust what Davey says about them. Bad and foolish step.

  77. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    No, I think Johnson decided to do it that way in order for Lannan to sneak away and not be interviewed … I think Johnson was waiting until the last minute … there's always a chance of an injury … look at Wang? Think about it, Johnson and Rizzo knew they would get an enormous amount of flack. It is not something they truly wanted to do. BUT, it was the right move. Lannan can't pitch in relief. Even Wang has pitched in relief in the past. Makes sense to me.

  78. Constant Reader - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    I will rehash my side of an argument I had here a few weeks back with an anon poster. It is in the best interest of our franchise that the 'sixth' starter opportunity goes to Detwiler. We know Lannan's ceiling; we need to know if Detwiler is part of our '13 rotation.Of the 150 pitchers lined up to start the season in rotations, John Lannan is better than some. Maybe not 75; maybe not 50. But Milone will be the A's #3 and I'm not convinced that he's more than a Lannan clone.If we need a seventh starter, particular for September starts in a pennant race, you hold on to Lannan, even taking the inglorious step of sending him to Syracuse, until you are absolutely sure that you'd rather give September starts to Stammen or Maya or Purke or Rosenbaum (just kidding about Maya; I've given up on him like the rest of you).

  79. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Peric-Lannan has averaged 6 Innings/Start, and gives up on average about 2.5 runs per start. Again, Erik, his adjusted ERA, a park and defense neutral metric called tRA has him at over 5 runs average over 9. That's middle relief or AAA/AAAA. You have seen for yourself what happens when Lannan is thrown in as a reliever, even when he is given a starter's warmups in ST. Lannan just isn't that good. If he were as good as you claim, again how is it that Livo became the ace of this staff until Zimmermann returned from Tommy Johns? Livo would have pitched over 200 if they hadn't shut him down. He was more effective than Lannan. As were Milone and Peacock last season. When your pRAA averages between -15 and -20 over three years you are not a major league pitcher.

  80. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Is Mattheus out of options? If not, wouldn't you option him before Stammen?This is where mathematicians and computer science types would tell you well it depends. A pat answer … but …Stammen and Mattheus have different roles. Mattheus has closer's stuff. Isn't it amazing that the Nats have FOUR potential closers in their bullpen in Storen, Lidge, HRod, and Mattheus? These pitchers can also work as stoppers and setup. Stammen is basically a starter long / middle relief. His fastball barely peaks past 90 at times. If there are enough injuries to the starting rotation you could see him in the rotation. Otherwise, he gets put in when the starter has a bad day and they need a guy to bridge the gap to late inning relief. Unfortunately, for Gorzleanny he gets to be the left-side of that equation. He is more the power pitcher than Stammen and has shown he can do as good if not better than Burnett. That is why Gorzelanny is on the 25 man and not release as so many here wanted and predicted. Lack of baseball knowledge permeates at times …

  81. HHover - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    DC WonkWell, the fact that Lannan has performed better than Detwiler over the last 3-4 years (notwithstanding peric's beloved praa) is some indication of what to expect this season. Lannan's ST stats are horrible this year, but we're talking about ~20 IP, and he's not someone who typically posts great ST numbers.They're obviously going to try this, so I'm hoping for the best. Detwiler did well this ST, but over his career, there are plenty of reasons for doubt. * Det throws harder than Lannan, but doesn't get many more Ks (little more than 1/2-K more per 9 in 2011); * Although Ross improved his BB/9 last year, over his career, he isn't much better in that dept than Lannan; * Like Lannan, Ross doesn't have a track record of going deep in games as a starter;* And, also like Lannan, he's of limited value out of the BP (because they were talking about keeping him on something approximating a starter's schedule).

  82. DHamm - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Tough personell decisions because of competion at a position! Finally, after all these years! If we have to stash a pitcher with major league experience for a few weeks until EJax has a sore arm, or until JZimm tweaks a hammy, then so much the better for us. Depth, depth, depth. Good for us.

  83. JohnDC - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Every seems to be forgetting that Wang will be back in a few weeks as the #5 starter, then they have to do something with Detwiler, right, like put him in the bullpen. Is that the best place for him to show what he's got in 2012?

  84. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Ten thousand times I have told you all not to believe anything that comes out of Davey's mouth!! Maybe he did mean it, in that instant, that Lannan was No 5 and "my guy." Or maybe he said it because people kept asking and asking or Lannan asked or whatever… Or maybe he was trying to up Lannan's trade value (which Lannan would SURELY have agreed with, assuming he wants to be traded.)IMO, the public perception vs. what actually goes on in the FO/clubhouse are very different. Only rarely (as in Tulo/Ubaldo) do we get a real look inside. And, based on that case, uh, maybe I'd rather not look… Bottom line is, Lannan's time was up. He knew it (or should have) the fans knew it, and the front-office knew it.

  85. A DC Wonk - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    HHover — we don't disagree. It seems that mostly what you are saying is that Lannan is a proven commodity, and Ross isn't. You're right. But it's not like this decision is irrevocable. Let's see what Ross has.And in a month, CMW might be coming back, and Lannan might have been sent down at that time anyway.

  86. The Great Unwashed - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    So Davey told Lannan in the dugout during the third inning? Hmmmmm. Do you think he changed his mind because he was watching Jackson stink it up yet again? I think this move was made for two reasons. One is concern about Jackson. The Nats can't afford long losing streaks anymore and maybe Detweiler can be a stopper. If not him, then it's Stras after that. Also, Davey and Rizzo need as much firepower in the rotation as possible since the offense is lacking.

  87. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    The part that was dumb was Rizzo encouraging or allowing Davey to say the "John's my guy" thing, clearly as a way of trying to boost his trade value.Davey is pretty unvarnished with the press. At the time Lannan was his guy … and then John relaxed and made an assumption that he made it that made Johnson look lie a horse's patoot. He came in relief and looked bad while his competitors kept pouring on the heat.Lannan was on a short leash. He had already lost his job to Wang … if Wang hadn't suffered an injury perhaps Lannan would have already been sent to minor league camp … we'll never know.Plus, by dubbing Lannan the fifth starter he made a very happy clubhouse. Lannan is very popular with the other players. Look how many went to his wedding this summer. Rizzo wants a happy clubhouse as much as Johnson does. So, this was a tough decision but the right one. Now, its up to Lannan to mow down the AAA hitters and help Syracuse win in the International League. And if he does he will more than likely receive a call-up.

  88. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    DC Wonk-Not at the expense of potentially alienating a player. Dewiler had 2 great outings in his last 2 starts last year (one of those being a meaningless game vs. Phillies with no Howard or Pence in the lineup. The last time he won before that was the middle of August. That really gives him the spot over Lannan? How many thousands of pitchers have come up and won games in September. I guarantee you if you asked the players on the Nationals, anonymously of course, they would be against this move. It is a gamble that is not necessary. Let Lannan prove himself in April (or not) and then make the move. No hard feelings. Henry Rodriguez was lights out in September last year, too. Does that mean he should replace Storen? I mean, Storen gave up 8 HR's. Rodriguez gave up 1 in about the same number of innings. Rodriguez, like Detwiler, has better stuff and more upside so does that mean it is worth a roll of the dice? Of course not. At least not right now because, like Lannan, Storen earned his spot.

  89. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Every seems to be forgetting that Wang will be back in a few weeks as the #5 starter, then they have to do something with Detwiler, right, like put him in the bullpen. Is that the best place for him to show what he's got in 2012?Injuries and trades do happen. Keep in mind that Wang can be traded in May. But, give the rash of injuries National's starters have suffered over the past 3 years I suspect its why no one is concerned yet.

  90. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Oh, I have my doubts about Detwiler, oh, yes, I do. Time and again we have seen flashes of brilliance and then he just, I dunno, gets tired or something. But he's been "in waiting" a long time and it's about time he either sinks or swims. So, he'll have the few starts until Wang comes back to show whether September/Spring Training results were the "real" Detwiler, or the "Ross- who-only-can-do-great-when-he-has-extra-rest-or- it's-September-or-Spring-Training."

  91. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    That really gives him the spot over Lannan? How many thousands of pitchers have come up and won games in September.Because Erik, Livo was better. A LOT better than Lannan. He is a better #5 pitcher. They could have kept Livo for a lot less money and he wanted to stay? That means there is a dramatic drop in effectiveness there. It also means its way past time for a change. At this point in his career John Lannan is a AAAA pitcher, there's no ands ifs or buts about it.

  92. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    In other words Erik: its better to see what Detwiler, Wang, Stammen, and Gorzelanny can do … they have all pitched better than John Lannan last year both as starters and relievers.

  93. Whatsanattau - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    I don't think Davey cares if we or the media believe him. I tend to believe Davey told Lannan earlier and tells the media he told him in the dugout. Better for John that way. Maybe he told him in the dugout, but I suspect Davey does care how the team feels about it, and it makes more sense that he told him earlier. Davey may not have all the talent he wants, but he does have the basic composition he said he wanted. Right and left long men, multiple closers, starters who can go more than 6, bench flexibility, right and left pinch hitters, and the ability to rest all players. If/when the team gets healthy, it will be a very strong bench.

  94. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    Anonymi-WRONG!!! You want a consistent chance to win from your #5. Lannan is that guy. I have two eyes…and none of those guys you mentioned has been better than Lannan on a regular basis. I could care less if you are the creator of Fangraphs, ERA is the only stat I care about!!! He is also ONLY 27!!! Good thing you guys didn't manage any of the thousands of other players who could have been "moved on from" in their mid-20's.

  95. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    Players with a higher ERA than Lannan:Zach GreinkeMichael PinedaMike LeakeEdwin JacksonDerek HollandTrevor CahillMax Scherzerand the great Livan (4.47)…so not really better is he anon 11:40!!!

  96. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    Players get "alienated" all the time. They know that, GMs know that, we know that. It's a business. As a business deal, Lannan is still making a mid-7-figure salary, for playing baseball. He's a smart man, I'm sure he'll manage. As a baseball decision, meh. I've never been a big fan of Detwiler, but Lannan is what he is; there's no mystery there. If I'm wrong about Ross and he's actually decent, then it might be worth a win or two. Unless I'm spectacularly wrong, and that's probably the best argument for this–your fifth starter should be a competent MLB starter at worst, but if he turns into a 3 or better, and this is how you find out, who wouldn't take that? Personally, I don't expect it, but that's why they play the games, and why we pay to see them do it.

  97. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    and the great Livan (4.47)…so not really better is he anon 11:40!!!Uh HYEAH HE IS Erik, just ask the Braves eh?You are using an antiquated stats that are not unbiased. They do not reflect whether pitchers are effective. The ones I use are park and defense neutral and better reflect pitching efficiency … and Lannan's tRA is 5+ three years in a row. Worse than JD Martin, Luis Atilano … and especially Livo. His pRAA is HORRENDOUS! Honestly, I see comparisons using ERA against EJax. There's no comparison Lannan doesn't even come close … but you will never listen … you just aren't objective enough.

  98. Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    NatsLady — With due respect for your insights, you've entirely missed my point.I neither believe nor disbelieve what Davey or Rizzo say, because their comments are not fundamentally aimed at the public. The point is the effects on the clubhouse –that was what I wrote– that comments like "my guy" followed shortly by actions that say "not" about a well-regarded player (within the clubhouse) who was obviously on fragile ground throughout the process. Most of the other players have either been in that situation themselves, can imagine it in their future, or just like the guy and don't like to see him put through that — and that casts a bit of a pall over how they regard Davey's treatment of other guys and situations. It's nothing irrevocable — it's a long season — but it doesn't exactly leave an "I'd trust this guy in the foxhole with me" feeling in the clubhouse. That's in the clubhouse. This is not about the fans.

  99. Sunderland - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    peric – this is the most sanctimonious post I've ever seen. For years you defend your rioght to be Annonymous. Every post you made about Lannan going to AAA (and I know you made several) was made Annonymous. But here, today, when you got his one right, you add your name. Pick a name and use – or stay Annonymous.But this, today, this is nothing but ego.*****Anonymous said… AS PREDICTED Mark. For all the reasons I gave … not just his performance this spring but his ineffective pitching across the past three years using stats that are used by FanGraph's to calculate the WAR. This was Johnson not Rizzo Mark. ~Peric

  100. Gabor Mehes - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    Everybody is talking about pitching while nobody seems to notice that the offence is exactly as weak as it was last season.

  101. Erik - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:48 AM

    Anon 12:22-Livan just got cut by the Astros. Need I say more. And you are right, nobody in his/her right mind would listen to that nonsense you are spewing. "Park and defense neutral"…they played for the same team!!! You know, I am a stat geek as well, but you are really taking it to a new extreme. And don't forget, Lannan got drilled in the head with a line drive last year and was back out there his next start. Never said a word about it. That is the kind of guy I want out there battling on my team. I don't think you'll see that in your sabermetrics!!!

  102. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    Gabor- I believe the offense will be better than last season.Full season of Zimmerman, expected improvement by Werth, Ramos' upside, improved bench, and anything LaRoche can add.I don't think Davey changing his mind at the last moment is a bad thing. I'd rather have a manager go with his instinct and be willing to make changes to the roster that he believes will help the team.That's definitely better than a manager who stubbornly refuses to make changes.As much as I like Lannan, this was the right move to make (IMO).

  103. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    Erik- I enjoy researching some of the advanced stats, but I don't believe ERA is useless.WHIP, a simple stat of walks and hits per inning pitched, is helpful as well.And of course IP/GS, Lannan did not average 6 innings per start (which is league average). Last season he was 5.6.Where he really suffers, statistically speaking, is his SO/BB rate. Lannan was 1.39 last season (career 1.39 as well. The league average is 2.3.But obviously you would probably disagree entirely about Lannan and that's fine :-)He's definitely not as bad as some make him out to be.I'd be shocked if the Orioles don't attempt to trade for him. He would seriously be their number 1 starter. Their rotation is awful. Not sure the O's upper management is smart enough to make an offer though.On another topic :-)If Detwiler pitches well through his 5 starts or so, we may never see Wang again.

  104. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    Countdown to Opening Day: 1Anyone excited? Just got to get through Wednesday, somehow :-)Thank heavens ST is over. Back to 0-0 with 162 (or more? :-) real games to go.Go Nats!

  105. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Oh yeah, for those looking for their baseball fix the Cardinals and Marlins open their season tonight in Miami.An actual regular season game to watch :-) It will be on ESPN at 7pm.Hopefully we'll get to see that silly home run thingy (behind center field) in action. Other than that abomination, the Marlins new Park looks pretty cool. I still don't know what to think of the backstop aquariums on either side of home plate.Certainly an interesting concept.

  106. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Gotta love it! Peric vs. Eric!!!

  107. jeeves - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    In terms of baseball knowledge it's not a contest. Peric wins handsdown. For Eric to keep saying that Lannan was better than Detwiler over the last five years is a ludicrous comparison. There is two years difference in age and Detwiler, just as he was making a significant impact in a September callup three years ago, was injured and missed a substantial amount of time.

  108. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    All the arguing. Lannan vs. Detwiler. Both have pluses and minuses with neither one demonstrably the choice over the other. It comes down to the simple fact that Rizzo wants them both getting innings as starters and Lannan has an option left and Detwiler doesn't.

  110. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Detwiler should have made the rotation out of Spring Training last season but, because he had an option, was sent down. He clearly showed better stuff than Lannan in ST this year and Lannan had the option so what's the big suprise?And (siding with Peric) Davey did Lannan a favor by informing him during the 3rd inning of the game while all the beat writers were busy providing their coverage. He was able to leave the clubhouse without having to answer the barrage of questions that would follow. Actually a fairly classy way of informing him.And since someone called Rizzo a prick, well…. they don't understand what a tough business this great game can be. Rizzo and Davey are setting the organization up for long term success so the hard decisions actually become easy when you keep "your eye on the ball".And one more thing. Not one drafted pitcher in the organization has been allowed to develope progressionally like they do it in Tampa. And that includes Detwiler. I'm not sure but I would think Ross may be on some sort of innings limit (although it will probably will not come to that) just like JZ last year and Strasburg this season. His age may preclude a limit but his developement incur one.

  111. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Steady Eddie– I see your point, I just don't think I agree with it. Davey seems to be a "he's my guy until he's not" kind of spokesperson. Everybody's got "great talent." He's "really happy" with where so-and-so is at with his hitting/defense/pitching. All the way up to, "Yes, we are going to win the division" — until we don't. Or, of course, until we do. I said above that on a human basis I feel bad for Lannan being yo-yo'd around. But if Davey's public yapping is affecting the clubhouse then that's where Zimm or DeRosa steps in. As surely as you can get sent down, you can get brought up, see Nady, Xavier. It's performance, people. P.S., a while back Fangraphs looked at a Lannan for Bourjos trade. They regarded Lannan as at best a mediocre No. 5, and maybe no better than the Angels current No. 5. Why should we settle for that, if there are other possibilities?bourjos-for-lannan-surely-you-jesthttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/bourjos-for-lannan-surely-you-jest/I don't take Fangraphs as perfect, but it's an outside opinion. I see there is a new post, but I'm leaving this here. ON TO OPENING DAY!!

  112. Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    cwj says "I don't think Davey changing his mind at the last moment is a bad thing."As I wrote, I agree witty the logic of the move on baseball grounds, tho I'm not sure that Davey ever really did change his mind (as opposed to what he said) — after all, an option is an option. Look at Balester vs Perry.It's not what he did but how he did it. A manager (not just in baseball) who's thinking ahead doesn't lead one of his staff out on a limb and then saw it off, just because of how the rest of the staff will see it. Davey's generally upbeat way of getting the best from his players is infinitely better than e.g., Riggles' insecurity and neuroses, but the risk in this kind of action is some players may start to see it as an act that they can't trust him to be consistent about.

  113. fast eddie - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Tim Kurkjian said in a recent interview that he thinks the top six teams in MLB are in the AL: Boston, NY, Tampa Bay, LA, Detroit, Texas.While we could argue that the NL East is the most competitive division, he may be right.Anyone wanna take him on?

  114. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Man, Mike Rizzo is ham-handed sometimes. "We've got five guys we feel are better than him." Add that too claiming only mild interest in the guy from potential trade partners and piling on that he's not effective out of the pen — devalue your guy a little more Mike. Rizzo could have easily framed this more strongly as a simple numbers game. He could have gone on and on about Detwiler being out of options and having pitched very well, Lannan being a pro's pro, willing to do what it takes for the club, how neither guy, not just Lannan, is comfortable in a relief role so something had to give, that the Nats have this great luxury to have an abundance of SP riches, Lannan being in the big pile of shiny guys. But, he pretty much said, Lannan's just not that good. I am not sure that approach is a shrewd one.For all of those folks out there in Nats Town forever parroting Davey's love for Desmond or Espinosa as being some kind of real, strong force keeping those guys in the lineup come Hell or high water, note how easily Davey can have a “change of heart”. John's his guy and all. Gotta play well to play for Davey, no matter how much he loves you, or you might be on the bus to Cuse.dfh21

  115. periculum's Really An Asshat - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    When your pRAA averages between -15 and -20 over three years you are not a major league pitcher.Just remember what pRAA stands for. Periculum's pRAA is off the charts. He's a major league asshat.

  116. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    This is John Lannan in a nutshell: he is a good 6th man in a 5 man rotation, just good enough to get you beat.

  117. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    dfh21 But, he pretty much said, Lannan's just not that good. I am not sure that approach is a shrewd one.You are right and wrong. Don't you think other GM have seen Lannan pitch. Please see my comment above. Anon 8:19.

  118. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    He didn't say that Lannan "is just not that good". What he said was "we've got 5 guys we feel are better than him". And if you add in Wang, well, that makes 6 guys. And if you are talking about ceilings, well, you've got probably a half a dozen to a dozen more in the system.Rizzo's already determined that, barring an extreme emergency by another club, Lannan's trade value has already been established and he'd prefer to keep him as insurance down the road.And at this juncture, what's more important? Massaging Lannan's bruised ego or talking up your new #5 starter? It's pretty hard to do both.

  119. NatsLady - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    This has been hashed way too much, but have to agree with NJ, especially when your new #5 starter is chancy to begin with in terms of durability and mental makeup. I don't mean anything negative, I'm just waiting to see if Ross can put together 4 or 5 good, meaningful starts in April.Also, you talk about the clubhouse–what is wrong with sending the message, look guys, perform or you're riding the bus in Syracuse. I don't want to be in a foxhole with Davey Johnson. I truly hope the foxhole days are OVER.

  120. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    NatsJack — I am not suggesting that Rizzo needs to be concerned with Lannan's ego, I am talking about Lannan's perceived value. What I don't get is that if Lannan is so far down the list of quality guys the club has (or has had recently), then why did Rizzo offer Lannan arb in the first place? Even before the Gio trade and Jackson getting signed, you've got Wang, Detwiler with no options and Gorz getting arb from Rizzo too. Rizzo inked the guy at the big Dollar because he thought Lannan had real value, about $5M worth. Now Rizzo has had his own change of heart to the point where it is not even worth talking the guy up in order to at least attempt to shore-up Lannan's standing as a reliable, 30+ start lefty innings eater in MLB? dfh21

  121. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Hey, if guys who did not perform ended up in Cuse, Espi and Desi would be on that bus too.

  122. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    dfh21…. let's be clear. John Lannan is a 30+ starting lefty on the consistently last place Washington Nationals of 2007 through 2010. He's not a 30+ starter on the playoff caliber Washington Nationals.

  123. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    NatsJack — the question is whether Lannan is a relaible lefty SP for other clubs, clubs with less in storage when it comes to starting pitching options. Rizzo's talking like Lannan's not worth much of anything to anyone, ironically, not long after he paid $5M to keep the guy.dfh21

  124. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    So, late to the party on this but after sleeping on it have just read news coverage of the move and watched Mark's video. I'm with JaneB in disliking this side of baseball. In fact, I was yammering on to my husband about that last night. My take: as a fan of a "rebuilding" team, there are plenty of human interest stories of guys making comebacks, getting their first call-ups (maybe before they've had a chance to develop outside of the MLB spotlight), or finishing out their careers. Then the team's on the upswing and some of those guys are let go, demoted, or whatever. At such times, even though I can understand the move from a business perspective, I feel for the players involved from a human perspective. In this case, I understand the move, but it seems to me it could have been handled better (i.e., saying he's the guy one week before demoting him in a surprise move, and informing him in the dugout in front of his teammates rather than in private). OTOH, it is an interesting theory advanced by peric and NatsJack, that Davey was sparing John an encounter with the media. Then again, John has never struck me as one who shied away from the media under tough circumstances. Speaking of which, you remember correctly about the cap, NatsLady, but he was sent to AA that time, not AAA.Anyway, I thank John for his service to the team over the years. IMO, he's always been a standup guy who's shown a lot of class. I wish him well wherever he pitches this year, and I will be cheering him on wherever he pitches.

  125. Gardner - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Lannan call was much easier for Davey than I think most of us are making it out to be. Davey loves the dual bullpen and has a righty longman (Stammen) and a lefty longman (Gorz). Sure Detwiler hasn't proven he can pitch late in to games but with those resources in the pen he doesn't have to. If he's lights out in the first 5 then he's out and one of those 2 are in. I think it's just talent that won out.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
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ON THE RADIO

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