The Washington Times - July 21, 2012, 11:51AM

The Washington Nationals made official this morning what had been assumed and discussed for days: John Lannan, once expected to be an integral member of the Nationals’ starting rotation, was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to start Game Two of the Nationals’ doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves. 

Lannan, who is being paid $5 million this season, was optioned to the minor leagues on the eve of the 2012 season when the Nationals decided they could not afford to hide hard-throwing left-hander Ross Detwiler in the bullpen in a long relief role — a decision Detwiler has largely rewarded. Lannan had an option remaining on his contract and the Nationals decided to use it.

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So the left-hander will make his return to the mound at Nationals Park on Saturday night. Lannan arrived in D.C. on Friday and met with some of his teammates and manager Davey Johnson but had to make himself scarce until Saturday due to MLB rules.

As part of the new CBA, teams can have a 26th member of the active roster on days they’re playing a scheduled doubleheader so the Nationals did not have to clear any roster space to add Lannan to the team and they are expected to option him back to to Triple-A after his outing. 

– In an unrelated move, the Nationals also designated outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment Saturday morning. Nady, who had been on the disabled list since the final week in June with right wrist tendinitis. Nady’s 20-day rehab assignment was over Friday and the Nationals were forced to either activate him or designate him. Since they came through Friday’s game healthy, they were forced to cut ties with the 33-year-old who was a surprise member of Opening Day roster after signing with the Nationals on March 18. 

In 40 games with the Nationals, Nady, a popular teammate, hit .157 with three home runs.