With Stephen Strasburg being shut down for the year one start earlier than originally planned, John Lannan will take that spot in the rotation beginning on Wednesday against the New York Mets.
Lannan, who has spent much of the season at Triple-A Syracuse, has won two spot starts for Washington this season. He could make as many as four starts before the end of the regular season, though the Nats have two off days remaining to shuffle their rotation if they so choose.
“I think that Lannan will have less of a break in between his starts,” said general manager Mike Rizzo. “It’ll get him into a regular routine.”
Lannan last started a game on Aug. 30 for Syracuse, the second complete-game shutout in a row for him. Nats manager Davey Johnson was going to use Lannan, a left-hander, in next weekend’s series with the Atlanta Braves, but later decided against it. Lannan would have gone at least 19 days between starts if Strasburg had gone one game further. That won’t happen now.
Johnson and Rizzo both professed confidence in the rest of their starting rotation. Lanann is 2-0 in the majors this season with a 3.46 ERA. Gio Gonzalez (2.98) and Jordan Zimmermann (2.99) both rank among the best pitchers in the big leagues this season. Ross Detwiler’s ERA jumped to 3.23 after allowing three earned runs Saturday in a 6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins, but has had a breakthrough season in 29 starts. And Edwin Jackson sits at a respectable 3.63.
“I love my rotation. Very talented,” Johnson said. “And Lannan is plus also. He’s 2-0. So I feel good about where we’re at.”
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