(SI Swimsuit model and Chevy Chase, MD native Hilary Rhoda throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Stephen Strasburg's second start at Nationals Park last Friday. Getty Images Photo via Daylife.)
Lannan out, Rhoda in?
According to sources with no knowledge of the situation, Mike Rizzo and his entire scouting department were so impressed with model Hilary Rhoda's ceremonial first pitch before Stephen Strasburg's last start at Nationals Park on Friday night that the Nationals have signed her to a major league deal. Stan Kasten unavailable for comment. Sources say Rhoda will start in Baltimore on Saturday in place of John Lannan, who has been optioned to AA Harrisburg.
"I believe in John. John's been too good for us to let a few starts detour us too much, you know? We've got a lot of leash there with John."
(Jim Riggleman, via Nationals Journal, 6/20/2010)
Boy, it seems like only yesterday Jim Riggleman was giving John Lannan a vote of confidence, saying he'd be staying put in the Nationals rotation for the time being. Wait, that's because it was yesterday! So much for that long leash!
Other more reputable sources confirm that Lannan has been optioned to AA to figure things out, but that reliever Joel Peralta has been called up from AAA 'Cuse to take his spot on the roster, not the supermodel Rhoda. Mark Zuckerman points out on Nats Insider that the Nationals won't need a fifth starter until Tuesday, and that Craig Stammen seems a likely choice to be called back up.
Let's face it: Lannan has been awful. We're actually surprised to hear the news is a move to AA and not a trip to the DL. But we're even more surprised to hear the news of the move a day after Jim Riggleman's proclamation yesterday about Lannan's job security.