Sunday postgame, Jim Riggleman said, "I believe in John [Lannan}."
Sometimes, your beliefs change overnight.
Jim Riggleman - and Mike Rizzo and Steve McCatty - slept on it, and decided to option left-hander John Lannan to Harrisburg. They don't need a fifth starter for another week, Lannan had options left, so they sent him down to work with one of his former minor league coaches, Randy Tomlin.
"I hope very much it's short term," Riggleman said, "because John is very important to our staff. If he starts getting ground balls again, we'll bring him back up and he can have some success."
Riggleman indicated that Lannan displayed a positive attitude when told of the demotion. I keep going back to a conversation I had with an ex-player/current scout who told me he thought John's fall from defacto staff leader to somewhere in the middle-to-back-end of the Nats' rotation might have affected his concentration.
"I've seen it happen many times over the past 30 years," he said. "You see your status on the roster slip, and your focus slips a little bit as well, though it's usually not a permanent condition."
Replacing Lannan on the 25-man roster, for the moment, is reliever Joel Peralta, who was 2-0 with 20 saves (in 20 opportunities) and a 1.08 ERA in 28 appearances at Syracuse. Peralta is a big league veteran, with a big league log of 4-11, 4.61, with 2 saves and 31 holds in 221 appearances with the Angels, Royals and Rockies. Peralta is 34 years old and gives the Nats an eight-man 'pen.
Some good news: Ross Detwiler was reactivated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Harrisburg. Right-hander Garrett Mock was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day, which allowed the Nats to add Peralta to the 40-man roster.