March 10, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan (31) throws against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Breaking News: Nats Plan to Option Lannan to Minors

In an absolute stunner, the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore reports that the Nationals will option John Lannan to the minor leagues to start the season, making Ross Detwiler the presumptive fifth starter. The move comes as a huge surprise, as Lannan was named the fifth starter by manager Davey Johnson. Lannan is also a two-time Opening Day starter for the Nats, and has thrown 180+ innings with a sub-4 ERA in 3 of the past 4 seasons. Lannan is also the second-highest paid pitcher on the Nationals’ staff, earning $5M this season. The competition for the fifth starter position was a major storyline throughout Spring Training, but was seemingly resolved when Chien-Ming Wang was sent to the DL and Davey Johnson named Lannan the fifth starter. However, with Lannan now in the minors, it will be interesting to see what happens when Wang becomes healthy again.

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Tags: Chien-Ming Wang John Lannan Ross Detwiler Washington Nationals

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