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 »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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