The Phillies filled two holes Saturday, first with the addition of setup man Mike Adams, and then John Lannan as the fifth starter.
Lannan agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal as reported by CSNPhilly.com and CBSSports.com. The 28-year-old is the favorite to slide into the rotation spot vacated by Vance Worley. At $2.5 million, the risk is small, and Lannan could shift to the bullpen as a long man if ineffective in the rotation.
The lefthander fits the description of a "low-risk, high-reward" starter Ruben Amaro Jr. said he was seeking. Marginalized in Washington, Lannan made only six starts in 2012. He has a career ERA of 4.01 in six seasons.
He is not a strikeout pitcher (4.7 per nine innings) and has struggled with control (3.4 walks per nine innings). His career numbers mirror that of a typical fifth starter, if not better. Lannan's fastball typically averages 88-89 m.p.h. and he relies on a change-up while also throwing a curveball and slider.
The Phillies usually crushed Lannan to the tune of a 5.53 ERA in 19 career starts. But remove his pitiful numbers against the Phillies and his career ERA drops from 4.01 to 3.80. He has a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts at Citizens Bank Park.
Lannan is perhaps best known among Phillies fans for breaking Chase Utley's hand with an errant pitch in his major-league debut five years ago. Eleven of his 30 career hit batters have been Phillies.
After being hit, Utley then said he did not think Lannan was throwing at him.
"I don't think he was trying to hit me," Utley said that day. "It kinda got away from him. He's a young guy. He hit two guys in a row. I don't think he was throwing at us."
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