After Tuesday's 7-4 drubbing by the Detroit Tigers, one has to wonder if its time that the Washington Nationals just shut down John Lannan for awhile. The reason I am bringing this up now is because of a story National's beat writer Adam Kilgore posted in his Nationals Journal that referred to an arm injury that Lannan may or may not have.
Via Nationals Journal:
All the pertinent parties believe John Lannan is fully healthy, that the physical issues restuling from stiffness in a tendon in his left elbow have vanished. Manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and Lannan himself insist he is fine.
But the injury, McCatty said, may still be affecting Lannan in other ways.
If this is the case, I have a couple questions. First, who made Riggleman and McCatty doctors? Shouldn't Lannan go out and seek a bit more of a professional opinion on this elbow tendon? Generally pitchers with elbow tendon issues do not have those issues vanish suddenly unless they pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews and they get a new tendon.
Secondly, why are they pitching him at all if he's had elbow tendon discomfort and his numbers and are proving that something is wrong with him? It seems to me that the best course might be to rest and examine Lannan to see if he can avoid blowing out his arm and being useless to the team for next season, instead of just being useless this season.
Shutting down Lannan with his 2-4 record and 5.45 ERA would not really hurt the team at all and if anyone thinks that it would, then they can recall Craig Stammen with his 1-2 record and 5.43 ERA. They are for all intents and purposes the same pitcher so far this season, except one is completely healthy and the other has had some elbow discomfort.
If the Nationals are serious about trying to win games now and in the near future then figuring out what is wrong with John Lannan is more important than trotting him out every 5 days and waiting for his elbow to blow up while losing just about every game he starts.