It’s been almost two weeks since Davey Johnson pulled a switch-a-roo and announced Ross Detwiler as the Nats’ fifth starter after previously announcing John Lannan was “his guy.” Since then, Detwiler and Lannan have been proving the decision right.
Since getting his unexpected start in the majors, Detwiler (despite giving up a grand slam yesterday) has just a .90 ERA in his two starts this season. He has taken advantage of his opportunity to show that he belongs in the majors.
In 10 innings of work, Detwiler has allowed one earned run, one home run, and 3 walks while striking out 8. He is even doing a solid job at bat, boasting a .222 average on the year. Most of all, he appears comfortable in his role, and hasn’t made anyone question whether or not he belonged with the Nats.
When Lannan was sent down, there were multiple ways he could have taken the demotion. When he was sent down two years ago, he took it as an opportunity to refresh himself and his mechanics, and he came back better than ever.
His initial response to the demotion is understandable; he asked to be traded. It makes complete sense, as he has been yanked around a lot. However, with his current play, a trade is becoming more and more difficult.
First of all, the team has no intention of trading Lannan. Even if they did, his stats in Syracuse are leaving a lot to be desired. Lannan currently holds a 13.50 ERA through two games. In those 2 games, he has only pitched 6 innings. He has given up 15 hits and 9 earned runs.
If Lannan wants to get another shot at the majors, he has to pull himself out of the gutter. Whether it ends up being with the Nationals or another major league club, no one is going to go for him while he wallows in his misfortunes.
It will be more and more difficult for Lannan to get another opportunity with the Nats as Detwiler continues to play well, but one injury can change everything. Lannan has to play sharp if he wants another chance.