On Thursday the Washington Nationals bolstered their, already pretty strong, starting rotation by signing free-agent pitcher Edwin Jackson to a one-year deal worth roughly $10 million. With the addition of Jackson, and only five available starting spots open, someone has to either be demoted to the bullpen or traded elsewhere, which is exactly what the Nationals are trying to do with John Lannan. According to a Fox Sports report the Washington Nationals are now, “aggressively” trying to unload” John Lannan.
Lannan, a 27-year-old left-handed starter lost his arbitration case with the team and will be paid $5 million this season and not the $5.7 million which Lannan wanted. Lannan went 10-3 with a 3.70 ERA last season in 184.2 innings of work all in the starting role. It is unclear, as of now, as to which teams are interested in Lannan’sservices but there could be a few teams who are interested. Lannan, although not an elite starting pitcher, is not a scrub either.
But one of the red flags for Lannan could be his ERA and the way you look at it, let me explain what I mean.Lannan had a 3.70 ERA for the Nationals last season, which isn’t bad for a back-end of the rotation guy. But if you take a sabermetrical look at Lannan’s ERA then there may be a few red flags raised. First off Lannan’s ERA last season, as I stated before, was 3.70, but his ERC (Component ERA- a stat attempts to forecast a pitcher’s earned run average (ERA) from the number of hits and walks allowed rather than the standard formula of average number of earned runs per nine innings) was 4.42.
What is even more alarming is that when you look at Lannan’s ERA and ERC then compare it to the 2011 National League Team Efficiency Summary you would see that Lannan was working all season long with the sixth best (or most efficeint) defense in the National League. On top of all this you must factor in that Nationals ballpark (for it’s short amount of time) has been a pitcher’s park (thus meaning that it is great for pitching). Overall Lannan had everything in his favor and still could not put together a good statistical season. If the Nationals can find someone to bite then it would be in their best interest to get rid of him quickly.
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