Lannan throws, aims to start Thursday

Lannan throws, aims to start Thursday

WASHINGTON -- Nationals left-hander John Lannan, who skipped Saturday's scheduled start in hopes that the soreness in his pitching elbow would dissipate, threw long toss before the game, a positive first step toward making his next outing Thursday at Colorado.

It was the first time Lannan had thrown since alerting the Nats about his injury.

"I just played catch," Lannan said after throwing from 100 feet for about 10 minutes in right field. "You can't hop right out there after not throwing, so today was just a day to go out and toss."

Not experiencing any lingering soreness probably means Lannan will avoid the disabled list and stay on target to open the four-game series against the Rockies. Lannan has been concentrating on long-distance running and tried to make Saturday's activities feel like what he'd do on a normal day when he was starting.

Well, everything except actually pitching.

"Today in the game might feel a little bit weird, but I know my arm needed this rest," said Lannan, who is 1-2 with a 6.34 ERA in six starts. "They gave it to me. I'm glad I said something, because I could have kept on pitching and it could have gotten worse. This rest was needed."

Lannan, who last pitched May 2 at Florida, received a cortisone shot in his elbow to relieve tenderness in his left flexor tendon and performed exercises to keep his rotator cuff flexible. He didn't hesitate to alert the club about the elbow problem, though his honesty caused him to miss a turn in the rotation for the first time.

"I've seen guys with injuries, guys holding back and not saying anything," he said. "I don't lie. I'm a horrible, horrible liar. As soon as I felt something, I told them. ... It just didn't feel right. I'm glad I told them."