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John Lannan will return to majors Sunday

John Lannan, the Nationals' opening day starter for the past two seasons, will return to the major leagues after a seven-start exile in Class AA Harrisburg. Lannan is listed as Sunday's probable starter on the team's official web site.

In late June, the Nationals demoted Lannan and his 5.76 ERA to Harrisburg in hopes he would recapture the feel for the sinker -- his best pitch -- that had escaped him. In his seven starts, Lannan went 1-4 with a 4.20 ERA, allowing 49 hits and 10 walks and striking out 28 in 40 2/3 innings.

The Nationals summoned Lannan back to the majors mostly out of necessity. Three-fifths of their starting rotation -- Luis Atilano, J.D. Martin and Stephen Strasburg -- went on the disabled list in a one-week span. Lannan got the call behind Ross Detwiler and Scott Olsen.

Upon his return, Lannan will face his most difficult challenge. In nine starts against the Phillies, Lannan is 0-7 with a 6.32 ERA and a .935 OPS against. On opening day this year, he allowed the Phillies five earned runs on seven hits and three walks, lasting only 3 2/3 innings.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 31, 2010; 11:04 AM ET
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Next: Adam Dunn still in the dark as deadline nears


I will not say I agree with this call-up. There are more deserving pitchers or field players in the minors. Lannan has proven all season long that he just does not have the right stuff. We do not need him. Trade him.

Posted by: crimsonmac | July 31, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Uh, crimsonmac, trade Lannan? For what? The proverbial bag of balls? Trading a player only works if someone else wants that player. See Dunn, Adam. (Not saying that Dunn WILL be traded. In his case, however, he IS wanted by other teams.)

Posted by: bertbkatz | July 31, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

This is a cross-your-fingers, whistle-past-the-graveyard move of necessity. Don't know who else they could have brought up other than Matt Chico. John has the ML experience to face the Phillies, you don't want to have someone make their ML debut in this situation. Wonder why they didn't give Batista the shot and bring up another reliever? I'm guessing they are using this as a test to see where Lannan is. If it goes badly it could be his last ML appearance for a long time.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 31, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Lannan has pitched poorly of late, and Chico has pitched well. Chico deserves the call up, and he gives the team a better chance to win Sunday.

Posted by: Dogface13 | July 31, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

and as we all know he did so well against the Phillies opening day,

Posted by: twinbrook | July 31, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

they didn't have a choice. the only starting pitchers on the 40 man roster were Lannan, Chico, Martis, or Balester. They needed to make this move or DFA someone, to promote a guy like Tom Milone

Posted by: wrw0601 | July 31, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If Lannan were facing the Mets, I'd say go for it. Against the Phils, Chico should be the man.

Posted by: nats24 | July 31, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Why not start Batista and have Lannan relieve him

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 31, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Count me as totally befuddled. Are they trying to set him up for failure? Might he bean a batter or two early and get replaced? Make absolutely no sense unless they are going with Miguel early. Play Chico or the man (Batista).

Posted by: paulkp | July 31, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

We all like Lannan but his days are truly numbered....he only has a sinker and if that is not working he is toast...and even if it is he can't just throw that....He needs another pitch and has not shown he has one...definitely no fast ball...

Chico or someone else should be the starter....Of course Lannan might pull it off Sunday but that would only mask his lack of a second pitch in his arsenal..wouldn't be surprised if he is shelled no later than the 3rd inning...

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 31, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Put a gun in my mouth. Good lord they suck

John Lannan can't even perform in the minors

Posted by: frediemac1 | July 31, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The team needs to truly find out who the second base...SS combo will be now that Guzman is gone...for some reason I liked Guzman though he has lost much at ss he still gave it his all and his hitting was not bad compared to his replacements...

For me the jury is still out on Desmond...having great potential is an asset of course...but at some point potential has to become long do we wait on Desmond???? One more year tops please and if not by then, time to move on....

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 31, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Does the GM make the call-up decision, or the manager? This is a big mistake.

Posted by: bamabug | July 31, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I would have preferred Miss Iowa, but looks like we got Miss Long Island instead.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | July 31, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Guaranteed loss. Sad.

Posted by: p_chuck | July 31, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Chico last pitched on Thursday, so he'd be pitching on short rest if the Nats called him for Sunday's game.

Posted by: west1805 | July 31, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Can't use Batista, since he performed a vital role in tonight's game against the Phils. Hey, might as well give Lannan a shot at redemption. The season is over, so right now it's all about seeing how we're going to fill out the rotation. It'll be fun -- for once -- to see how we narrow down a wealth of riches into a five-man rotation.

Posted by: greggiebaba | July 31, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Bad move. You send the wrong message (performance/results don't count) to the players throughout the organization. So why should players keep on busting butt to show they belong if they get passed over. Lannan have not proven he has regained his confidence and pitches in the minors and you still call him up.

Same theme applies when Riggleman puts Clippard in a pressure situation tonight. The manager can't be putting his players in a situation that they're not ready for. What's the message he's sending to the players? Riggleman's will lose the respect of his players if he keeps on doing this. Tyler needs to be built up--maybe back to the minors--before he gets to pitch in a major league pressure scenario.

Posted by: nulldev4u | July 31, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Well there goes the Nats winning streak!!! It is obvious a 1-4 record in class AA minors does NOT bode well for the Nats Sunday. I'll bet he does not go more than 4 or 5 innings. He has develpoed a "head case". Lot's of luck Nats. I say let him pitch no more than 3 innings and then go with the bull pen the rest of the game i.e pitching by committe

Posted by: vergens2 | August 1, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

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