The Nationals optioned left-hander John Lannan to Double-A Harrisburg this afternoon, sending their 2009 and 2010 Opening Day starter to the minors to work on the mechanical issues that have led to him leaving the game in the fifth inning his last three starts. Washington called up reliever Joel Peralta from Triple-A Syracuse, and the right-hander is available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight.
Manager Jim Riggleman said yesterday that the Nationals would give Lannan plenty of leash to work out his struggles. But he also hinted a move could be on the way if Lannan continued to scuffle. He has a 10.38 ERA in his last three starts.
Riggleman said the Nationals made the decision this afternoon. He said the team picked Harrisburg over Triple-A Syracuse because Lannan has a history with Senators pitching coach Randy Tomlin, and said Lannan handled the move like "the true pro he is."
The Nationals are able to get by with four starters until next week because of Thursday's off day, Riggleman said.
In addition to that move, the Nationals put right-hander Garrett Mock on the 60-day DL, and will activate Ross Detwiler from the 60-day DL. Detwiler will also go to Harrisburg.