As recently as February 17th of this year Washington GM Jim Bowden was quoted in an article by Washington Times' Sports writers Mark Zuckerman and Thom Loverro entitled, "Acta has infield starters in mind", saying that when it came to the Nationals' '07 1st Round Draft pick left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler:
"I am not opposed at all to developing him out of the bullpen," Bowden said, raising the possibility the 21-year-old could start the season as a reliever."
But...as MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported in his article, "Notes: Lannan turning heads this spring", when the first attempts to trim down the Washington roster took place yesterday, the Nationals:
"...reassigned pitchers Mike Bacsik, Tristan Crawford, Ross Detwiler, Mike Hinckley, Charlie Manning, Ismael Ramirez, Josh Smoker and Jim Ed Warden, outfielders Roger Bernadina, Frank Diaz, Tommy Murphy and Jorge Padilla, infielders William Bergolla, Yurendell De Caster and Antonio Perez and catcher Devin Ivany to Minor League camp."
According to Washington Times' writer Thom Loverro's post entitled, "Detwiler cut" on his blog "Chatter" at washingtontimes.com:
"Detwiler will now report to minor-league camp, but he said he was told by manager Manny Acta to stay ready. 'He said nothing is set in stone,' Detwiler said. 'Go down and get the work in. I could be back up here in two or three days pitching again, or anywhere I could find innings.'"
Surprised as I am at Detwiler's relatively quick exit, it's not too shocking when you look at the pitchers remaining at the Nationals' camp, (and especially with lefties like Matt Chico, Ray King, Mike O'Connor and Odalis Perez still around, sending Detwiler down makes sense.)...
And then there's...John Lannan, who is still turning heads, as Mr. Ladson's previous cited articled, "Notes: Lannan turning heads this spring" mentions, and in Barry Svrluga's "Nationals Journal" blog entry, "In the bottom of the eighth..." at washingtonpost.com, Mr. Svrluga describes John Lannan's performance in this afternoon's 6-5 Washington win over St. Louis:
"...He (Lannan) was a bit frustrated by the fact that he did not get ahead of more hitters. However, he pitched. I can't stress it enough. The kid knows how to work hitters. On his last hitter, he fell behind Troy Glaus 3-1. So what did he do? Dropped a breaking ball in for a strike, then blew him away for a fastball. To have the savvy to throw that curveball at 3-1 showed something. A scout in attendance said, "I like him. He pitches older than he is, like he's been around longer."
Lannan, you might remember, had one of the more memorable debuts with the Nationals last July 27th when, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote at the time in his article entitled, "Lannan ejected against Phils":
"In that inning with one out and the Phillies leading, 3-2, Lannan hit Chase Utley and Ryan Howard with pitches. After Howard was hit, Wendelstedt ejected Lannan, who immediately left the game. According to baseball historian David Vincent, Lannan became the first player since Reds infielder Aaron Boone in 1997 to be ejected in his Major League debut."
At the time, Lannan had completed 4.1 IP, allowing 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, walked 2, struck out 1 and given up 1 HR, and Lannan went on to post a (2-2) record and 4.15 ERA in 6 starts before the Nationals shut him down for the season at the end of August.
Lannan's line today...3.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's...0.00 ERA... that's 0 ER's, 3 BB, and 7 K's in 5.0 IP so far this Spring for Mr. Lannan.
Other standouts this afternoon...
Cristian Guzman- 2 for 4, 1 run scored, .471 AVG
Elijah Dukes- 1 for 4, 3B, 2 RBI's, .389 AVG
Ronnie Belliard- 2 for 4, 1 RBI, .571 AVG