John Lannan will join the Nationalsā rotation after they shut down Stephen Strasburg, but the Nationals will not simply plug him into Strasburgās spot. Strasburg will make his final start Sept. 12 against the Mets. But Lannan, Manager Davey Johnson said, will make his first start as part of the rotation during a series against the Braves from Sept. 14-16.
With an off day the day after Strasburgās final start, the Nationals will be able to shuffle their rotation. In his career, Lannan is 9-5 with a 3.20 ERA against the Braves. Earlier this year, in one of his two doubleheader fill-in starts, Lannan held them to two runs over seven innings. This year, the Braves are 25-28 against left-handed starters.
Lannan would have pitched today if he remained on his schedule from Class AAA Syracuse. But he finished his work in the minors with two complete game shutouts, and Johnson wanted Lannan to catch his breath after finishing his minor league season. āItās like Iām skipping him a start,ā Johnson said.
And so Johnson will not consider using Lannan out of the bullpen until Sept. 10 at the earliest. Johnson said Lannan will likely make an appearance in relief as a ātune-upā to his start. Ā āHe doesnāt have an aversion to pitching out of the āpen,ā Johnson said. āHe just didnāt want to pitch out of the āpen at the start of the season.ā