Tag: John Lannan

2014 Scouting Reports and Projections for Each New York Mets Pitcher and Catcher

The February 15 spring training report date for the New York Mets is right around the corner, which will officially kick off their mission of becoming a winning baseball team in 2014.

Unlike recent winters, Sandy Alderson and his staff have been active in the free-agent market, handing out multi-year deals to Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. The organization also inked Chris Young to a one-year deal and handed out a few minor league contracts to free-agent starting pitchers.

As we prepare to watch the Mets take the field for the first time in months, let’s take a look at scouting reports and statistical projections for the pitchers and catchers expected to fight for an Opening Day roster spot in Port St. Lucie.


All player statistics and advanced statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, respectively.

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The Best Remaining Players the New York Mets Could Bring in for Spring Training

The New York Mets have been busier this offseason than in recent ones, but there is still work to be done on the Mets roster before spring training begins next month.

General manager Sandy Alderson has already acquired Curtis Granderson and Chris Young for the outfield while adding Bartolo Colon to the rotation fill in for the absence of Matt Harvey.

Despite these moves, the organization would like to bring in another starting pitcher on a minor league deal to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. They would also like to acquire a veteran reliever to fill the role LaTroy Hawkins occupied in 2013.

Then, there’s the elephant in the room at shortstop. The Stephen Drew sweepstakes are still going on, and it looks like the Mets are the only logical suitor. Hopefully that is the case because potential backup options for Ruben Tejada were erased on Jan. 13 when Cesar Izturis signed with the Houston Astros and Ronny Cedeno inked a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Here are the best free-agent options left for the Mets to consider based on ability, versatility, affordability and fit in the clubhouse.


All player statistics and advanced statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, respectively. Contract information from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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Philadelphia Phillies Strive to Strengthen Pitching Staff

The Philadelphia Phillies have potentially signed two key pitchers in recent days.  According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Phillies have likely reached a multi-year agreement with free-agent setup man Mike Adams. Then moments later, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported the Phillies have potentially signed free-agent starter John Lannan to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

In an instant, the Phillies have upgraded their starting rotation and bullpen.

After their trade for Michael Young, I wrote an article asking what positions the Phillies should focus on filling. The conclusion, starting and relief pitching.

The Phillies did just that.

With the possible addition of both pitchers, the club would be keeping pace with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for supremacy in the NL East. 

Earlier in the week, Matt Gelb of Philly.com reported Ruben Amaro Jr. was looking for a low-risk, high-reward pitcher and Lannan fit the bill. The lefty starter would serve as a possible fourth or fifth starter with an ability to eat innings. Any major league team would benefit from this talent.

It was also no surprise the club pursued a reliever, specifically a setup man. Many Phillies’ fans expressed interest in Mike Adams and the organization delivered.  The former Texas Ranger had one of his worst seasons last year, but the Phillies saw potential to strengthen their pen. Adams and Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon would be a filthy one-two combo.

The Phillies still have money to sign a veteran corner outfielder and should continue to pursue the spot, but we have to commend Amaro Jr. for filling holes in the lineup and not breaking the bank. All moves this offseason have been precise and indicate the team’s direction—chasing a championship next season and in the seasons to come. 

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Washington Nationals: Why John Lannan’s Gem Is a Bad Thing for Nationals Fans

When the Washington Nationals needed a win most, John Lannan delivered.

Washington had been outscored by nine runs in a three-game losing streak which featured a game where the Nats blew a nine-run lead. Lannan allowed two runs in the first inning, and it looked like the Nats would lose their fourth straight game.

Then, Lannan recovered. The longtime National didn’t allow another run, and pitched seven innings, recording his first win of the season. Thanks to some late run support and some good pitching by Lannan, Washington triumphed 5-2 and took a 2.5 game lead in the NL East.

In the first inning, Lannan made some mistakes. He left a few pitches too far over the plate, and that’s how the Braves took the lead. Lannan made a few more mistakes, and he allowed five hits on the night. However, Lannan no-hit the Braves through the last 4.1 innings, and he started to strike hitters out.

Lannan got ahead of the count and was able to get hitters out by placing his fastball on the corners and jamming hitters. He struck out two hitters in the seventh inning, even though he only retired three batters on strikes during the game.

In his career, Lannan averages 4.71 strikeouts per nine innings. He has a 1.42 career WHIP, which is also a problem. Lannan allows a lot of hits, and he also walks a lot of batters. Opponents have a career .340 OBP against him, which has been a major factor in his career 4.00 ERA.

However, manager Davey Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo were probably impressed by Lannan’s performance. The former ace went 6-8 with a 4.60 ERA in Triple-A Syracuse this year, which isn’t very encouraging. However, thanks to Lannan’s performance today, the Nats will be confident that they don’t need to trade for a starting pitcher.

And that’s not the case at all.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Nationals are one of the frontrunners in the Ryan Dempster sweepstakes. If the Nationals traded for Ryan Dempster and shut down Stephen Strasburg (which it looks like they will do), they would have Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler, Dempster and Edwin Jackson in their rotation.

If they didn’t trade for Dempster, they would have the inconsistent Lannan instead of the league-leading, and very consistent, Dempster.

Washington is in the middle of a heated playoff race, and they seem to be good enough to make a deep playoff run. However, if the team shuts down Strasburg, they would have three inconsistent starters in their rotation, and two would have to pitch in the playoffs.

Lannan had a great start, and he came through with lots of pressure on him to bring the Nationals a key win. However, he is nothing more than a middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starter, and Washington can’t have someone who allows opponents to hit .272 pitching in a playoff race.

Unless Lannan can show the ability to pitch well at the start of a game, keep the ball away from the middle of the plate and miss bats consistently, he won’t be a guy Nationals fans will want in their playoff rotation. If the Nationals’ front office were convinced by this start, they may avoid unloading the farm to trade for a pitcher, and they would keep Lannan in the rotation.

With Lannan in the rotation bad things may happen for the Nationals. Including losing early in the playoffs, or missing them altogether. 

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New York Mets’ Lack of Interest in John Lannan Is Simply Inexcusable

When a quality starting pitcher who is due to make a relatively reasonable $5 million for one year, is only 27 years old, and is still two seasons away from being eligible for free agency becomes available, it makes sense for teams around Major League Baseball to at least make inquiries.

It especially makes sense for small-market teams to make the inquiry, as pitchers under 30 years of age, even under-performing ones, usually command a premium.

With that said, it’s a bit strange that no teams other than the Chicago Cubs have openly expressed interest in pitcher John Lannan, who requested a trade from the Washington Nationals after being optioned to the minor leagues at the end of spring training.

It makes even less sense that the New York Mets have yet to express interest in the Washington lefty, as he seems to be a perfect fit for both the Mets plans on the field and financially.

Lannan is no ace, not by a long shot, but he is a solid starting pitcher who has started at least 30 games and thrown 180 innings in three of the last four years. He’s also young, left-handed, durable, relatively inexpensive and under the team’s control until 2014, and in this new era of “Mets Moneyball,” that’s pretty much everything the team is looking for.

What makes the Mets perceived lack of interest in Lannan all the more baffling, is that every starting pitcher currently on the team is a question mark.

Mike Pelfrey has been a disaster for more than a year now, so much so that the cash-strapped team had discussed eating his almost $6 million salary and releasing him during spring training. Dillon Gee and Jon Niese both look like promising young pitchers, but so did Pelfrey at one time, so who knows if they’ll continue to improve or take a step back in 2012.

Johan Santana, the Mets’ ace and most reliable pitcher when healthy, had a nice start to the season on Opening Day, but he’s pitching for the first time since 2010, and hasn’t made 30 starts in a season since 2008.

R.A. Dickey is really the Mets’ most reliable starting pitcher, and he’s average at best. When his knuckleball is on, he’s very tough to hit, but when it’s not, he’s basically throwing batting practice.

The Mets have made it clear that they will be operating like a small-market team for the foreseeable future, so the days of signing big-name free agents, or making trades for star players with huge salaries are over.

If that’s the way the Mets need to do business to stay afloat, that’s fine, but it also means that management needs to be vigilant in it’s quest to find young, inexpensive talent, or the old proverbial “diamond in the rough.” Lannan is definitely the former, and could possibly be the latter as well.

There have been no reports as to what Washington may be looking to get in return for Lannan, but for the Mets to not even show interest is inexcusable. It’s moves like these, or lack there of, that makes Mets management look like they are asleep at the wheel at best, and simply giving up on the season with their only focus being on the team’s finances at worst. 

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Washington Nationals Make Bold Decision to Send John Lannan to Minors

The Washington Nationals made a surprising decision with their final roster cuts on Tuesday. As reported by the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, the team optioned starting pitcher John Lannan to Class AAA Syracuse and kept Ross Detwiler on the big league roster. 

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that the Nats sent Lannan to the minors, considering general manager Mike Rizzo was trying to trade him throughout spring training.

With the additions of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson to their rotation, the Nationals appeared to have a surplus of starting pitching. Several rumors had the Detroit Tigers inquiring about Lannan, with the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros also showing interest.

The general opinion seemed to be that the Nats would hold on to Lannan after Chien-Ming Wang suffered a hamstring injury. But Lannan did himself no favors by pitching badly this spring. In six appearances, he allowed 14 runs (12 earned) and 24 hits in 21 innings.

By comparison, Detwiler compiled a 3.06 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.

According to CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman, choosing Detwiler over Lannan wasn’t simply a matter of spring performance. The Nationals believe Detwiler has more upside and can get even better.

With Lannan, what you see is what you get. He’s a good, not great pitcher and isn’t really going to improve. 

MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported that the Nats indeed tried to trade Lannan, but were asking for too much in return. No potential trade partner wanted to give up a starting major league position player in exchange for a pitcher that would probably fill the back end of a rotation. 

Above all else, Lannan being squeezed off the roster speaks to how the talent level and depth of the Nationals’ starting five has improved.

Last year, the Nats pitched Livan Hernandez and Lannan in their first two games of the season. But the pitching staff has come a long way.

Stephen Strasburg is back after Tommy John surgery. Jordan Zimmermann made 26 starts after undergoing the same procedure a year earlier. Gonzalez is the rare left-handed strikeout pitcher, almost racking up 200 of them last season.

Edwin Jackson could be a No. 2 starter on many teams. In D.C., he’ll probably be fourth in the Nats’ rotation. 

That is a deep top four which measures up against any other team in the majors, let alone in the NL East. Add Detwiler and you have a fifth starter who could do a lot more than just eat innings and give the bullpen a break. 

This isn’t just an encouraging decision by the Nationals, it’s a bold one. According to Kilgore, Lannan is the highest paid player to be optioned to the minors before spring training ends. He’s on the books for $5 million this year.

Lannan will probably be back in D.C. at some point this year. No team makes it through a full major league season using just five starting pitchers. But the Nats didn’t want to settle as they begin what could be a playoff season for them. 

Many teams would have opted to keep the guy with the larger salary, especially when he posted a 3.70 ERA last season. But the Nationals believe they have a better team with Detwiler in the rotation. That’s the kind of aggressive thinking Nats fans should celebrate. 

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Washington Nationals: John Lannan to Triple-A; Ross Detwiler to Rotation

In a move that seemingly nobody saw coming, the Washington Nationals have chosen to option left-hander John Lannan to Triple-A Syracuse on the final day of Spring Training, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Lannan and his $5 million salary were the likely candidate to take the place of the injured Chien-Ming Wang as the No. 5 starter in the rotation. After recording more than 180 innings with an ERA of 3.70 in 2011, Lannan was considered the favorite for the job.

This move comes less than two weeks after manager Davey Johnson unofficially named Lannan his fifth starter, saying, “John’s my guy.”

That move sent Ross Detwiler and Tom Gorzelanny to the bullpen. Both were scheduled to be long men, but that was not an ideal situation as neither is a right-hander.

With the optioning of Lannan to Triple-A, Detwiler finds himself with the No. 5 spot in the rotation. That move allows Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus to be a part of the Opening Day roster.

Mattheus will pitch in a setup role while Stammen will serve as the right-handed long reliever.

Detwiler was a member of the rotation at times in 2011 and impressed the club with his raw stuff. For years his pitching ability intrigued the Nationals, but it wasn’t until last season that he was able to put it all together.

He had nine starts from August 4th to the end of the season. In those starts, he compiled a 4-5 record with a 3.20 ERA.

When Johnson was asked about the move, he commented: “It’s really more about Ross Detwiler.”

Lannan, who was informed about the move during the third inning of Tuesday’s game, is the second-highest-paid pitcher on the Nationals behind Edwin Jackson.

With that much money sitting at Triple-A, it’s likely that the Nationals will once again resume trade talks with other clubs regarding the left-hander.

He remains a National for now, albeit at the minor league level.

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Washington Nationals Option John Lannan to Minors, Ross Detwiler Likely to Start

In a surprising turn of events, the Washington Nationals optioned John Lannan to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday.

Lannan was ready to take the reigns as the fifth starter in the Nationals’ dominant rotation while Chien-Ming Wang recovers from a hamstring strain.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that Lannan was sent down and that Ross Detwiler will likely become the Nationals’ fifth starter.

Detwiler has shown good control this spring. In 17.2 innings, Detwiler has struck out 18 while walking five batters. He has pitched to a 3.06 ERA while giving up 14 hits this spring.

The 26-year-old Detwiler has not thrown more than 75.2 innings in his career but has a chance to impress the Nationals while Wang is sidelined.

Lannan had drawn interest from teams all offseason but the Nationals ultimately decided to keep Lannan around. They will have a decision to make down the road, assuming they hold on to Lannan and Wang becomes healthy.

They are one of the few teams that have depth at pitching and can withstand injuries to their starting rotation.

Lannan had a chance to start the season with the big club due to Wang’s injury but now finds himself in Syracuse. Perhaps his 5.14 ERA in spring led to the decision to be made.

Now it is up to Detwiler to impress with the opportunity he has been given and force manager Davey Johnson to make a decision when Wang returns.


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MLB Trade Rumors: 3 Potential Destinations for the Nationals’ John Lannan

It has been rumored in recent weeks that left-hander John Lannan may be on his way out of Washington.

Ever since the Edwin Jackson signing on February 2nd, the Nationals have had one too many starting pitchers. Generally, this is not a bad thing. The Nationals can address other needs with their excess pitching though, with Lannan generating the biggest return.

If Lannan is traded, Chien-Ming Wang or Ross Detwiler would take over the No. 5 spot in the rotation, with the other becoming the long man out of the bullpen.

The Nationals are in need of bench depth, as well as a capable center fielder. They could also choose to just trade him away for a few mid-level prospects.

Lannan has been an effective starter over the course of his career, garnering a 4.00 ERA and a 38-51 record. He has been better in recent years, becoming a guy capable of pitching 180+ innings.

As a No. 5 starter, that’s pretty valuable.

The Nationals seem to have a win-win scenario with Lannan. If they trade him, they can potentially fill a need. If they keep him, they have another guy who can give them close to 200 innings.

Whether he’s traded or not remains to be seen, but here are five potential destinations.

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2011 NL East Pitching Preview: the Stephen Strasburgless Washington Nationals

Coming to fans everywhere, the latest installment of Washington D.C. baseball…National Treasures: The Missing Strasburg. Starring the D-list celebrities of the fantasy baseball world: Livan “National League Harlot” Hernandez, Jordan “Not That Zimmerman” Zimmermann, and featuring Jason Marquis and John Lannan as trusty sidekicks.

Looking back at last year’s chapter of National Treasures, it seems like not many will buy into the 2011 version. 

There might be fantasy relevance with the Nationals’ pitching this season with Tom Gorzelanny doing his best President Obama impression. Coming to Washington D.C. from Chicago, Gorzelanny is a strikeout pitcher with two sub-4.00 ERA seasons under his belt.

It’s likely he’ll be towards the beginning of the Nationals rotation, but the question remains if Gorzelanny will be used primarily in relief like in Chicago each of the last two years. I think he is meant to stay in your league’s free agency this year, but in super deep or NL-only leagues, there is some potential.

From Florida to San Francisco to Washington to Arizona to Colorado to New York and now back to Washington, Livan Hernandez certainly gets around the National League. 

Usually bringing his ghastly ERA and bloated WHIP, Hernandez will have another crack at it with the Nationals this year. He actually had one of the better seasons of his career last year, posting a 3.66 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 22 quality starts.

However, he only managed to win ten games in 2010, and had one of his lowest K/9 ratios (4.8). I can’t see Livan in many 2011 lineups, especially with age not helping as he enters his 20th season in the majors.

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