Washington Nationals

MLB Spring Training 2012: John Lannan Named 5th Starter; Wang Likely to DL

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMarch 26, 2012

It seems as if the Nationals won't be trading away John Lannan—for now, anyway.

It was announced on Monday that Lannan will be the team's fifth starter come Opening Day. Manager Davey Johnson made it perfectly clear about his feelings of Lannan saying, "John's my guy."

This announcement comes on the heels of the team's expectation that right hander Chien-Ming Wang will open the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring that he injured against the Yankees earlier this spring.

Johnson wants to play it safe with Wang, saying, "Anytime you are talking about a severe hammy, I always think it's going to take a month or six weeks."

Wang is already ahead of schedule, according to Johnson.

Despite possibly starting the season on the DL, Wang is already throwing off of flat ground. He is experiencing a sore left calf as a result, which Johnson claims is normal.

With Wang's and Lannan's situations figured out, it appears as if Ross Detwiler will open the season in the bullpen.

Wang appeared to be a lock for the No. 5 starter's job this spring until suffering the injury, so it's very likely that he will displace Lannan once he proves that he's healthy.

Because Detwiler is out of minor league options, he'll likely remain in the bullpen. This would once again make Lannan available.

This may actually help to increase Lannan's value, as potential suitors will have had a better opportunity to assess their own pitching situations.

If a team like the Red Sox or Tigers determines that they are in dire need of pitching, they may put together a more attractive package for him than they would have a few weeks ago.

It's sad to see Wang making another trip to the disabled list, but this move may actually end up helping the Nationals in the long run.

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