Nationals left-handed pitcher John Lannan suffered a strained flexor tendon in his pitching arm earlier this year, which completely affected his pitching and played a major role in his demotion to Harrisburg.
General manager Mike Rizzo announced Monday that Stephen Strasburg will go on the disabled list due to a strained flexor tendon in his right arm, an injury that is similar to what Lannan endured.
Lannan got the rest and rehab he needed for his arm and made his way back to the Nats. Now he is having the best run of the season, winning three straight decisions. He will start Tuesday against the Cubs.
Lannan says his injury felt a lot like what happened to Stephen Strasburg Saturday night in Philadelphia.
“It happened on a change up, similar to the pitch that Strasburg threw. He threw a changeup,” says Lannan.
“I just felt it was a little tight and then I felt a pop. Afterwards, it felt kind of weird. I got through that game. The next couple weeks every time I threw the ball, it didn’t allow me extend as much as I wanted to.”
Lannan felt himself trying to compensate the next couple of games and his pitches started going up in the zone.
“I picked up some bad habits along the way. I was trying to guard my elbow. I started throwing more with my shoulder and started raising my arm so that the stress on my elbow wasn’t as great.
“The best thing for me was rest. I got that shot. It affected me. I didn’t perform at the level I wanted to. My stuff wasn’t there. I needed to go down to Double A and get my form back. That injury, even how small it was, kind of got me.”
Lannan says the changeup puts a lot of stress on your pitching arm, and he has felt the pain when he strained his flexor tendon earlier this year.
“Because Strasburg throws with so much force, he pronates with the changeup. You don’t think about pronating but your arm pronates.
“When you pronate (arm turns in a prone position) it puts a lot of pressure on your forearm all the way down to the elbow. So if you really hyperextend your arm it tightens up and I felt a pop.
“I don’t know what Strasburg is going through, it might be completely different for him, but that is my experience with that injury.”