Stammen sent down to make room for Strasburg

The Nationals haven’t officially called up Stephen Strasburg yet. But they did make room for him on their roster on Sunday.

They sent Craig Stammen to Triple-A Syracuse, with a one-run, 6 2/3 inning outing not enough to save the right-hander from being bumped off the roster. Stammen has been maddeningly inconsistent all year, and the Nationals opted to send him out instead of J.D. Martin or Luis Atilano.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Stammen said. “I knew I was one of the guys that was in line for that. I haven’t been very consistent, and that’s the way it is.”

Stammen was one of the Nationals’ best pitchers this spring, but has been particularly bad on the road, where he’s allowed batters to hit .342 off him in six games. The Nationals had discussed moving him to the bullpen until he surged to the No. 3 spot in the rotation this spring. But he said as far as he knows, he’ll still start at Syracuse.

The Nationals will likely push everyone in the rotation back a day; John Lannan would have been scheduled to pitch Tuesday, but will now likely pitch Wednesday after Strasburg faces the Pirates on Tuesday. If everyone is bumped back a day, Stammen’s Saturday start in Cleveland goes to Atilano, and the rotation is on track.

“We’re going to get a nice addition, but we’re going to lose a real quality guy in Craig Stammen,” Riggleman said. “Somebody’s got to go, and it’s Craig. I feel terrible about that, too. Everybody’s excited about a nice addition, but one of the guys who’s been leaving it all out there for you is the one who takes the hit on this. We know he’ll be back. But right now, I’m more feeling pain for Craig than happiness that we’re going to make an addition.”