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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Kaduk: John Lannan’s surprise demotion qualifies as the anti-feelgood story as opening day draws near

John Lannan was the opening day starter for the Washington Nationals in 2009.

He received the honor again in 2010.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming, hope-springs-eternal story for the start of baseball season, this is not it because Lannan’s demotion in favor of Ross Detwiler on Tuesday afternoon came as a shock. Not only had he posted a sub-4.00 ERA during his spring training work in Viera, Fla., but he is also scheduled to make $5 million this season. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says the 27-year-old lefthander is the highest-paid player in history to be optioned to the minors before the end of spring training.

McCoy Posted: April 05, 2012 at 09:56 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. Coot Veal and Cot Deal's cols=“100” rows=“20” Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4097933)
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4097944)
You can say what you want about his peripherals, but Lannan is an above-average starting pitcher.
   3. depletion Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4097948)
I heard #1 report on WTOP this morning, too. Lots of clubs will want him, but I bet the Nationals won't deal him so readily. What if Detweiler blows up?
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4097951)
I think it's pretty shitty to refuse a guy's request for a trade after you sent him to the minors.
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4098045)
They really handled it poorly - Johnson had just announced a few days before that Lannan was the 5th starter with Wang on the DL.
   6. zonk Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4098056)
They really handled it poorly - Johnson had just announced a few days before that Lannan was the 5th starter with Wang on the DL.


They need a more experienced skipper with a reputation for handling players...
   7. Shredder Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4098060)
A guy who has consistently put up a decent ERA and appears able to give a team ~200 innings? Is the Nationals rotation so strong that he's not even a fifth starter? Hell, the Angels have a pretty good front four, and I'd take those numbers as a #5 guy. Is this an issue of early season off-days and they plan to call him in a week or two?
   8. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4098097)
Is this an issue of early season off-days and they plan to call him in a week or two?

It appeared to be an issue of Lannan having options left and guys like Detwiler and others not. The Nats rotation right now is Strasburg, Gio, Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson and then Detwiler or Lannan until Wang is back.
   9. JustDan Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4098112)
I think it's pretty shitty to refuse a guy's request for a trade after you sent him to the minors.

Where does it say that are refusing to trade him?
   10. puck Posted: April 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4098160)
Where does it say that are refusing to trade him?


Elsewhere: Nationals intend to keep John Lannan after Lannan asks for a trade

General Manager Mike Rizzo called the trade interest for Lannan “mild” and remains staunchly against trading Lannan for anything less than the price he deems fit – a price teams who have called him with interest in Lannan have not come close to meeting. Effectively, the Nationals have, in Lannan, an asset that could help later in the season, and they are not willing to give it away.

“We’re not trading him,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “We’re keeping him.”
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4098322)
It appeared to be an issue of Lannan having options left and guys like Detwiler and others not.

And liking Wang better than either of them. When he comes back, the #5 guy is going to be bumped to the bullpen, and the Nats apparently don't think Lannan is all that good in that role, so they want to see what Detwiler can do rather than lose him. Lannan could still be back fairly quickly if Detwiler bombs or Wang comes up lame yet again.
   12. zonk Posted: April 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4098455)
“We’re not trading him,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “We’re keeping him.”


Fine, but you're feeding him and taking him for walks.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4098471)
As I noted in some other thread, this could get ugly. Lannan has 4 years, 11 days of service time and was scheduled to be an FA after 2013. Keep him down for a month or 6 weeks (somewhere in there) and he's not an FA until after 2014.
   14. bunyon Posted: April 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4098563)
I picture the first Lannnan start after Strasburg blows his arm out as the kid in the Bad News Bears who simply holds onto the comebacker.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4098762)
And liking Wang better than either of them.

Which is odd. If you don't like Lannan for his peripherals, Wang's the poster boy for outpitching peripherals.

I guess they were really impressed with that 3.6 K/9 Wang put up for them last year.
   16. DL from MN Posted: April 05, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4098887)
Keep him down for a month or 6 weeks


They're paying quite a bit for that privilege with a $5M salary ($1.5M?). I assume he would get another year of arbitration too.
   17. JPWF1313 Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4098907)
Which is odd. If you don't like Lannan for his peripherals, Wang's the poster boy for outpitching peripherals.


Not really. Peripherls in the DIPs sense are k/9, bb/9 and HR/9, before his arm fell off both his walk and HR rates were very good, more than enough to offset his low K rate.

From 2005 to 2008, 142 pitchers had 360+IP
Wang's HR/9 of 0.49 was the best of all 142 (right ahead of Lincecum, Clemens and Webb,
his bb rate of 2.55 was 47th, well better than average
   18. WillYoung Posted: April 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4098995)
I think it's pretty shitty to refuse a guy's request for a trade after you sent him to the minors.


And even shittier to crap all over him in the media for an entire season before finally trading him (right, Kevin Slowey?).
   19. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: April 05, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4099031)
As I noted in some other thread, this could get ugly. Lannan has 4 years, 11 days of service time and was scheduled to be an FA after 2013. Keep him down for a month or 6 weeks (somewhere in there) and he's not an FA until after 2014.

Same thing happened to J.J. Hardy in 2009. I believe the union threatened action, but I think as long as there's even the flimsiest of a performance-based explanation there's not really anything they can do.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4099071)
Not really. Peripherls in the DIPs sense are k/9, bb/9 and HR/9, before his arm fell off both his walk and HR rates were very good, more than enough to offset his low K rate.

Yeah, and it has been FOUR YEARS since he was that guy.

In 2009 he was literally the worst SP ever. In 2010 he didn't pitch at all. In 2011 he was horrible: 3.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.16 HR/9 in 62.1 IP.

Relying on Wang to be even garden variety terrible is a huge stretch.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4099096)
Same thing happened to J.J. Hardy in 2009. I believe the union threatened action, but I think as long as there's even the flimsiest of a performance-based explanation there's not really anything they can do.

Yeah, although this one is hard to justify from a performance base.

And pretty clueless as to what the Nats think they're accomplishing here As noted, you don't save a rotation spot for Wang, especially not an injured Wang (ouch!) Detwiler (minor-league WHIP>1.5) is, at best, a cheaper version of Lannan but they're paying Lannan anyway.

I suspect it will all be solved soon anyway, whether by trade, injury or Detwiler giving up 10 runs in his first start.
   22. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4099419)
Cubs are reportedly interested in Lannan.
   23. McCoy Posted: April 06, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4099426)
Lannan for Byrd. What a waste.
   24. zonk Posted: April 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4099450)
Lannan for Byrd. What a waste.


I have a hard time believing that rumor would ever come to fruition -- it makes no sense for the Cubs... Byrd ought to have at least marginal value - he's not bringing an A prospect back, but I would think they could get something more interesting than a 29 yo innings eater who makes 5 million and has unimpressive peripherals in return.

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