Thursday, December 25, 2014

If it's on the ground, John Lannan is happy

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Only eight starting pitchers have induced ground balls at a higher rate than John Lannan since 2008. Lannan is not an overpowering pitcher. Rarely will he miss bats. So he relies on keeping the ball down in the zone, and then on the ground.

If it's on the ground, John Lannan is happy

Phillies pitcher John Lannan. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher John Lannan. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Only eight starting pitchers have induced ground balls at a higher rate than John Lannan since 2008. Lannan is not an overpowering pitcher. Rarely will he miss bats. So he relies on keeping the ball down in the zone, and then on the ground.

Four of his six outs Wednesday were on the ground, which was a good sign. Lannan allowed one run in two innings during his Grapefruit League debut. A few Twins made solid contact.

"Yeah," Lannan said, "so I'm relatively happy."

Lannan has begun picking the brains of his new staff mates. He quizzed Carlos Ruiz on how he'd call a game. It's all part of the adjustment to a new team.

More coverage
 
VOTE: Was trading Rollins the right move?
 
Phillies reportedly zeroing in on Red Sox prospects
 
Is Utley NL's best second baseman?
 
VOTE: What was the biggest Phillies mistake?
 
Follow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!
 
Buy Phillies jerseys and other gear
 
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates
Which Phillies pitcher has the bigger upside?
Kyle Kendrick
 
  1278 (71.8%)
John Lannan
 
  502 (28.2%)
Total votes = 1780

Lannan lives in Tampa, Fla., so he threw a few bullpen sessions for pitching coach Rich Dubee at the team's facility before spring training started.

"First bullpen, he was kind of quiet," Lannan said. "So that sort of screwed me a little bit. After that, I realized he probably didn't want to say too much. Now he's getting into the role of telling me what he thinks. It's great."

Lannan said he is not tinkering with anything major this spring. He is guaranteed $2.5 million and should fill the fifth spot in the rotation barring a huge surprise.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected