The Nationals designated outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment on Saturday, and recalled left-handed starter John Lannan from Class AAA Syracuse to pitch the second game of the day’s doubleheader.
Nady’s move is expected, as the Nationals had until after Friday’s game, when his 20-day rehab assignment ended, to decide whether to active him from the disabled list or designate him for assignment.
Nady landed on the disabled list in late June with tendonitis in his right wrist. The Nationals signed him March as a low-risk move to bolster their outfield depth with an accomplished hitter. But, Nady, 33, hit only .157/.211/.275 this season with three homers in 109 plate appearances over 40 games with the Nationals. In 12 games and 41 at-bats with Potomac, Nady hit .158/.220/.184 with nine strikeouts.
A scout at one of Nady’s minor league rehab game said that the outfielder’s bat had slowed but could land with a team that needs a right-handed outfielder.
The spot created by Nady’s departure isn’t filled by Lannan. The left-hander was added to the active roster per a new rule implemented for this year that allows a team to add a 26th man for doubleheaders.
Lannan was in Washington on Friday but not around the team during the game per baseball rules, Manager Davey Johnson said. Lannan, who started two opening days for the Nationals and is making $5 million this season, was sent to Syracuse out of spring training and had asked to be traded. But the Nationals have rebuffed offers for Lannan as he is a valuable option come September when Stephen Strasburg is shut down.
Lannan struggled to start the season in Syracuse, his ERA ballooning above five at one, point. Lannan has settled in better and sports a 6-9 record with a 4.89 ERA in 18 starts.
“He won the most games for us,” Johnson said. “He’s a competitor. I talked to him. He’s looking forward to the chance to come up here and help. He’s had a tough road to hoe. But I think he’s handled it the right way. “
The Nationals now have an open spot on the 40-man roster and will likely wait to fill as flexibility.