John Lannan, Eury Perez and Sandy Leon were making themselves comfortable inside the Nationals’ clubhouse Saturday morning. The Nationals first wave of September call-ups arrived but unlike years past, there was no rush to find out how they’d be used, no effort to work them into the starting lineup.
John Lannan will replace Stephen Strasburg in the rotation once the latter is shut down but the rest will get their time as manager Davey Johnson sees fit.
It’s a different fall in Washington.
“We have what we need here without any reinforcements,” Johnson said. “This gives some other guys some big league time, some big league experience. It gives a chance to get them in games, but I’m not worried about them getting in games and getting playing time.
“Every game I’m putting the best foot forward. We’re no longer developing, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
The Nationals will also be calling up a few coaches once the minor league seasons end, adding Triple-A manager Tony Beasley, pitching coach Greg Booker and hitting coach Troy Gingrich to the team.
Johnson said he likes the call-up rule, mostly because it allows teams that are out of the race to give some of their younger players an opportunity, as the Nationals have in past years. But he admitted it makes things tougher for contending teams playing lesser clubs as they face a host of players they’ve never seen and don’t know much about.
“I think it’s going to help some clubs,” Johnson said. I like Detroit’s young guys… I like Boston’s young guys. They’ll get more playing time because Boston’s not going anywhere. It may be harder to beat Boston.”
The Nationals will play six more series against teams who are not in the postseason conversation, so it will be interesting to see what part those teams’ call-ups play in the outcome of those games.