The D.C. vs. John Lannan.
“When I decided on Lannan staying in the rotation, Detwiler was having a better spring,” Johnson said. “He had a better spring last year. We still don’t know exactly how good Det can be. There’s a window there. I think Chien-Ming’s going to come back and be outstanding. It’s kind of part of development. When a guy’s screaming, ‘I’m ready,’ I had a change of heart.”
That made a gut-wrenching conversation with Lannan even more difficult for Johnson. The manager had planned to meet with the southpaw Tuesday morning during pregame drills, put off his talk until just before gametime and said he eventually broke the news to Lannan in the third inning. Lannan, who Johnson said would be the opening day starter in Syracuse, had left Nationals Park by the time reporters were allowed into the clubhouse postgame.
“Lannan’s not really suited to pitch out of the ‘pen,” Johnson added. “He also had an option (remaining). Wanted to keep all our quality pitchers in-house. (It was) very difficult decision, a tough one. I respect and like John Lannan a lot. It’s really more about getting Detwiler an opportunity to get a few starts in before Chien-Ming comes back and retain John Lannan.”
Johnson said he’s sure the Nationals made the right calls in finalizing their roster. “It’s all about what’s best right now for the organization,” he said. “As tough as it was, it’s the right decision.”
Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:11 PM | 54 comment(s)
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