On the same night that a former Potomac Cannon made his much-anticipated major league debut, a current Cannons pitcher made a bid just to reclaim his own prospect status.
Otoniel Lanfranco may have succeeded.
The right-hander held the Frederick Keys -- the best hitting team in the Class A Carolina League -- to two hits and no runs in six innings in the Cannons' 7-0 victory before an audience that included St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Walt Jocketty last night at Pfitzner Stadium.
Lanfranco was nearly overshadowed by a pitcher who was not even at the park. The public address announcer gave regular updates on the performance of Rick Ankiel, who was starting for the Cardinals in Montreal.
Ankiel left last night's game with a 4-2 lead and did not figure in the decision. He allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings. He walked three and struck out six. Ankiel started 21 games last year for the Cannons, going 9-6 with a 2.79 ERA.
Lanfranco, a free agent signee by the Cardinals in 1996, spent last year at Class A affiliates New Jersey and Peoria, going 8-1 with a 2.22 ERA. But this year he often has struggled en route to a 6-5 record and a 4.62 ERA before last night.
The Cannons backed up Lanfranco with two runs in the first, then added three in the fifth on a three-run home run by Andy Bevins.