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Latest Ryan Mattheus Items
Late Tuesday night, Washington Nationals bullpen coach Jim Lett looked to his left, and to his right, and saw only rows of empty chairs. In a 7-6, 12-inning win over the New York Mets that saw the Nationals empty their bullpen down to long reliever Ross Detwiler, Lett was a lonely man.
Injuries have ravaged Washington's catching depth, first taking Wilson Ramos for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, then putting Sandy Leon on the shelf for a month with a high ankle sprain. As a result, Jesus Flores has gone from bench player to iron man.
A few hours before his team's third game, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson was asked, somewhat jokingly, if his team would ever consider getting an early lead.
Amongst the commotion in the Washington Nationals' locker room Tuesday afternoon — between the shock of the news that left-hander John Lannan had been demoted to Triple-A and the joy for a guy like Ryan Mattheus who was making his first Opening Day roster at age 28 — there was Ross Detwiler.
The Washington Nationals informed John Lannan that they did not view him as a part of their Opening Day roster in the third inning of Tuesday's exhibition finale at Nationals Park. As such, Lannan, who was told the team was planning to option him to Triple-A Syracuse after several years in their rotation, was unavailable for comment by the time the game ended.
You might call it "creative tension," this farming out by the Washington Nationals of John Lannan, a four-year fixture in the starting rotation. "Stirring the pot" is another term that could be applied. Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots' mastermind, is a great practitioner of it.
Taking a look at the roster the Nationals will break the 2012 season with.
In an unexpected move, the Washington Nationals optioned veteran left-hander John Lannan to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday and will open the season with Ross Detwiler, another left-hander, as their fifth starter.
Tyler Clippard remembers it well, the bullpen that birthed his All-Star relief career. It was horrible.