Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo might want to give the lottery a shot or put money down on who he feels will win the NCAA Tournament. Recent comments made by the GM about it being far too early for the Nationals to begin using the words ‘too’, ‘many’ and ‘pitchers’ in the same sentence were followed by right-handed starter Chien-Ming Wang’s early exit yesterday.
While fielding a weekly hit ground ball and attempting to record an out at first base, Wang stumbled awkwardly before reaching the bag as his knee buckled underneath him. Wang was able to leave the field under his own power, though he did so sporting a noticeable limp.
Though the tumble he took looked potentially severe, the Nationals have diagnosed Wang with a hamstring strain. It’s unknown how much, if any, time the veteran will be forced to miss due to the injury, but it is certain that the incident will table trade rumors involving John Lannan for the time being.
It was reported earlier in the week that the Nationals were willing to enter the season with Wang as their fifth starter. Rather than pitch Lannan out of the ‘pen or start him in the minors, many believed a trade involving the left-hander was on the horizon.
Now, following Wang’s injury, chances of this happening are greatly reduced. Yesterday, Rizzo had already made it clear that he wasn’t actively shopping Lannan.
With Wang’s exit, Lannan is once again the favorite to fill out the Nationals Opening Day rotation. Things could change based on the severity of Wang’s strained hamstring, but for now talks of a Lannan trade are likely off.
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