Nationals Notebook

Upcoming Road Trip Not an Emotional One for Riggleman

John Lannan, right, will stay in his normal turn in the rotation despite lasting 12/3 innings in his last outing.
John Lannan, right, will stay in his normal turn in the rotation despite lasting 12/3 innings in his last outing. (By David Kohl -- Associated Press)
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By Bill Oram
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

While it might be easy to think of the next road trip as some sort of reunion tour for Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman, he said before Monday's game that returning to former stops on his coaching résumé holds little significance.

The Nationals visit Chicago, where Riggleman was manager from 1995 to 1999, starting Tuesday and will follow that with stops in St. Louis and San Diego. Riggleman, who took over for the fired Manny Acta on July 12, managed the Padres from 1992 through 1994, and was a coach for the Cardinals in 1989 and 1990.

"I have great memories of those places," Riggleman said. "But I've been back to all those places since I stopped working there so that newness of it has worn off and now it's just a matter of going in there and playing some good ballclubs and trying to win some games."

Lannan Stays on Schedule

After John Lannan's season-worst start Saturday against the Brewers, the Nationals contemplated mixing up his routine and having him start on short rest. But Riggleman said Monday that the plan is for Lannan to pitch as scheduled on Thursday against the Cubs.

Because Lannan threw only 43 pitches en route to giving up seven runs in Saturday's 11-9 loss, Riggleman said Lannan could have pitched on short rest. He said he also considered giving Lannan extra rest to work with pitching coach Steve McCatty.

"But that's kind of overthinking it a little bit," Riggleman said. "I think John will be fine and he'll be ready to go on his regular day."

Lannan, whose record stands at 8-9, said he was not worried about regaining his form in his next start.

"What happened last start has never really happened to me before," the left-hander said. "But it needed to happen, and it won't happen again. Whatever they want to do I'm ready for it." . . .

Riggleman said before Monday's game that reliever Sean Burnett would not pitch and that he was available only in an "emergency" situation. The left-hander injured the thumb on his pitching hand Sunday against the Brewers while fielding, but should be available Tuesday in Chicago, Riggleman said. . . .

Elijah Dukes also was held out Monday, missing his second game with a blister on his right thumb.

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