Tag: John Lannan

And not just that — Vance Worley never mistook Chase Utley and Ryan Howard for his own personal pinata

It appears that the Phillies have reorganized their rotation in recent weeks, outing 25-year-old-righty Vance Worley and inning 28-year-old lefty John Lannan.

So who’s better — Lannan or Worley? It’s hard to know who will fare better in 2013, and the issue is complicated because Lannan is (almost exactly) three years older, but it’s hard to make the case that Lannan has been better than Worley in the time they’ve spent in the majors.

Here are some of their numbers for their careers, including Lannan’s combined numbers through his age 25 season (Worley just finished his age 25 season):











Worley ’10











Worley ’11











Worley ’12
































Lannan ’07











Lannan ’08











Lannan ’09











Lannan ’10











Thru 25











Lannan ’11











Lannan ’12






















Through their age 25 seasons, Lannan had thrown far more innings in the majors than Worley. He had thrown 566 1/3 innings through the end of the 2010 season while Worley has still thrown just 277 2/3 for his career.

In just about every other way, though, Worley has been better. Through their age 25 seasons, Worley has a better ERA, has thrown to a lower ratio, allowing fewer hits, walks and home runs per nine innings while striking out batters at a higher rate. All of those things are also true if you compare the career numbers of the two.

Worley has also had the best year by WAR. Using both Baseball-Reference and FanGraph’s calculations of WAR, the best season either of the two has had to date is Worley’s 2011 performance. On the other hand, Lannan’s 2009 was almost as good and Lannan has had two very good seasons, 2008 and 2009, while Worley has only had one.

Notably, Lannan’s two best seasons came before his age 25 year. Over the last three years, he’s started 64 games and thrown to a 4.12 ERA with a 1.50 ratio, allowing 402 hits in 360 innings while opponents have hit .284 against him. The 4.12 ERA and 1.50 ratio for Lannan over the last three seasons are pretty similar to the 4.20 ERA and 1.51 ratio that Worley put up in his worrisome 2012 season.

Coming up in the same division, Worley and Lannan each spent time in the Double-A Eastern League and Triple-A International League. Here’s what the two have done in each of those leagues:

Ages IP ERA Ratio H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
Lannan AA 22 and 25 76.7 3.76 1.37 9.4 0.6 2.9 5.6
Worley AA 21 and 22 266 4.43 1.36 9.4 0.9 2.9 6.2
Lannan AAA 22 and 27 186.7 3.76 1.37 9.4 0.8 3.0 5.1
Worley AAA 22 and 23 96 3.00 1.14 8.2 0.8 2.1 8.1

They have very similar numbers at Double-A with Lannan posting a better ERA. Lannan has thrown more than twice as many innings in the Triple-A Eastern League, but Worley’s numbers are significantly better as he has allowed fewer hits and walks while striking out batters at a higher rate.

The biggest question as we look towards 2013 and beyond is whether you think Worley’s enormous hit rate in 2012 was a fluke or not. He has close to no chance of being successful in the long run with opponents hitting .296 against him. He was also victimized by one of the highest rates of BABIP of all pitchers in baseball.

Todd Zolecki suggests that trading for a player like Vernon Wells or Alfonso Soriano might make sense for the Phillies if they don’t sign Cody Ross here.

Baseball America’s Top Ten Prospects for the Phillies was released with 21-year-old lefty Jesse Biddle at the top of the list.

The pitching news

Busy weekend for the Phillies that saw them agree to deals with two pitchers — lefty John Lannan appears to be set to serve as the fifth starter and righty Mike Adams looks likely to set up Papelbon.

This article says that the deal with Adams is for two years, $12 million and the deal with Lannan is one year, $2.5 million.

Lannan has made 19 starts against the Phillies over his career, throwing to an ugly 5.53 ERA with a 1.74 ratio. Opponents have hit 329/404/546 against him in Citizens Bank Park. So that could be better. In 94 1/3 innings against the Phillies in all stadiums he’s hit 11 batters. In 689 1/3 innings against all other teams, he’s hit 19 batters. In his major league debut on July 26, 2007, Lannan was ejected in the fifth inning after hitting Utley and Howard back-to-back. The ball that hit Utley broke his hand.

Here’s my guess on how the pitcher staff for 2013 looks at this point as well as the top candidates to fill the last two slots:

Role Pitcher Others
1 SP Halladay (R) Stutes (R)
2 SP Lee (L) Schwimer (R)
3 SP Hamels (L) De Fratus (R)
4 SP Kendrick (R) Cloyd (R)
5 SP Lannan (L) Rosenberg (R)
6 RP Papelbon (R) Valdes (L)
7 RP Adams (R) Savery (L)
8 RP Bastardo (L) Diekman (L)
9 RP Horst (L)
10 RP Aumont (R)
11 RP
12 RP

On Friday, the Phillies claimed 23-year-old left-handed reliever Mauricio Robles off of waivers from Seattle. Robles was primarily a starter in Seattle minor league system through 2011. In 2012 he made 43 appearances, 37 of which were in relief, and threw to a 5.78 ERA with 1.69 ratio between Double-A and Triple-A. He walked 63 in 71 2/3 innings. That’s not a joke, it’s actually a stat.

This suggests that the Phillies and Mariners are among the teams interested in Cody Ross and that Ross may be looking for a three-year, $25 million contract.

This suggests that the Phillies may have one payroll slot left, which would allow them to pay a new outfielder about $7 million.

First thirty something for the Phils

The Phils played the thirtieth game of their season last night. So far, so good. After winning to complete a three-game sweep of the Nats, the Phils are 21-9 and tied for the best record in baseball.

The series was notable for the explosion of Raul Ibanez, who continued to hit last night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Ibanez came into the series hitting .154 for the season and pounded the ball in all three games, going 8-for-12 with three doubles and a pair of home runs.

The Phillies are 21-9 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 7-3 last night to complete the three-game sweep. They lead the second-place Marlins by two games in the NL East.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.

Danny Espinosa was the first batter of the game and grounded to Rollins. Alex Cora followed and singled to center. He stole second and would have been thrown out by Sardinha, but the ball went off of Valdez’s glove and Cora was safe. Halladay struck Jayson Werth out looking and Laynce Nix out swinging to leave Cora at second.

If Valdez isn’t going to hit at all, it’s important he catch the ball when it comes near him.

Adam LaRoche doubled to left to start the second. Halladay struck Wilson Ramos out looking behind him for the first out and Jerry Hairston out swinging for the second. Ian Desmond grounded to Valdez to set Washington down.

Pitcher John Lannan went down on a ground ball to second to start the third. Espinosa struck out looking and Cora grounded to first.

Halladay started the fourth with a 6-0 lead and Werth lined a single to left to start the inning. Halladay struck Nix out again for the first out before LaRoche moved Werth to second with a single. Ramos was next and he singled to left, scoring Werth to cut the lead to 6-1 and moving LaRoche to second. Hairston was next and singled, too, loading the bases. Desmond hit a fly ball to center for the second out, deep enough for LaRoche to score and make it 6-2. Lefty Matt Stairs hit for the pitcher Brian Broderick and grounded to second to leave men on first and second.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Nix and LaRoche with a 7-2 lead in the sixth.

He struck out Desmond and Brian Bixler in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Bastardo started the eighth. Espinosa led off with a double and moved to third when Cora followed with a single to right. Werth flew to left for the first out with Espinosa tagging and scoring. 7-3. Righty Michael Morse hit for the pitcher Henry Rodriguez and flew to center for the second out. Cora took second on a wild pitch, but Bastardo struck out LaRoche to leave him there.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth to lower his ERA on the year to 0.75.

Two innings for the bullpen in which they allow a run on two hits. Bastardo threw 22 pitches, Madson 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Mayberry gets the start in right with Francisco on the bench. The righty Francisco oddly comes into tonight’s game hitting just 241/313/310 on the year against lefties. Ibanez stays in left against the lefty. Valdez at second with Orr on the bench. The righty Sardinha catches with the lefty Schneider and hurting Ruiz on the bench.

Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out in the first, but Polanco and Howard both went down behind him.

Valdez and Sardinha singled back-to-back with two outs in the second, putting men on first and second for Halladay. Halladay smashed a line drive back up the middle, but Lannan caught it to end the inning.

Rollins singled to start the bottom of the third and Victorino homered to left behind him. 2-0. Polanco followed that with a single and Howard walked. Mayberry doubled, Polanco scored (3-0) and Howard went to third. Ibanez cleared the bases with a double. 5-0. Righty Brian Broderick took over for Lannan and Valdez singled to center, scoring Ibanez to make it 6-0. Sardinha flew to left for the first out before Halladay bunted Valdez to second with the second. Rollins grounded to first to leave him there.

First seven batters of the inning reach on three singles, two double, a home run and a walk.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Polanco singled with one out, but Howard and Mayberry went down behind him.

Ibanez hit a long home run to right center to start the fifth. 7-2. The Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins singled to start the sixth and Victorino walked behind him. Polanco flew to right for the first out and Howard struck out for the second before Victorino and Rollins pulled off a double-steal. Mayberry flew to Werth in foul territory to leave the runners at second and third.

Ibanez started the seventh with a single. With Valdez at the plate the ball got away from Ramos and Ibanez tried to take second, but Ramos got to it quickly and Ibanez started late and Ibanez was thrown out at second. Valdez and Sardinha both struck out behind Ibanez.

The lead was cut to 7-3 when the Phils hit in the eighth. With lefty Doug Slaten on the mound for Washington, Francisco hit for Bastardo to start the inning and walked. The Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 6-for-13 with two walks and a triple in the three-game series. He’s hitting 292/380/375 on the season.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/361/492 for the year.

Polanco 2-for-5 last night and 3-for-11 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 375/418/483.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with five strikeouts and two walks in the series, one of which was intentional. He’s 3-for-his-last-20 with three singles and hitting 276/346/509 on the season.

Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the series. 306/405/472 on the year. Francisco walked in his only plate appearance last night and was 0-for-6 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 250/352/413 for the season and is 1-for-his-last-12 with five walks.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-12 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 214/283/350 on the year.

Valdez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-8 with three singles and two RBI in the series. 250/288/289 on the year.

Sardinha was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s 1-for-7 on the season. Schneider was 3-for-8 with three singles in the series and is hitting 184/244/368 in 41 plate appearances.

Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.66) faces Derek Lowe (2-3, 3.72) and the Braves tonight. Two of Lowe’s last three starts haven’t been good and he’s thrown to a 7.07 ERA in 14 innings in those starts overall. Lee was good in his last start, holding the Mets to a run over seven innings.

Update: PS — are you reading the Starts Log? The Phillies have 17 quality starts in their last 20 games. They’re leading all teams in either league with 23 for the year.

Exchange ratio

Just wanted to start by saying that there was a point about the Phillies coming. I mean, not today, but it’s coming.

Whether you call it ratio or WHIP, thanks to fantasy baseball, most fans are familiar with the idea of hits plus walks over innings pitched.

There’s a big limitation to that stat, of course, and that’s that not all hits are the same. The context in which an inning is pitched or a walk is given might make it more important than another inning pitched or walk, but what an inning pitched or a walk means doesn’t change. That’s not that case with hits — a hit can be a single, a double, a triple or a home run. That’s part of why pitchers with the same ratio (or WHIP) can have dramatically different results.

For example, take the case of two NL pitchers from the 2009 season, San Diego righty Josh Geer and the Nats lefty hand breaker John Lannan. Both had threw to the same 1.35 ratio in 2009, but with hugely different results:

  IP ERA H BB Ratio
Geer 102 2/3
5.96 116 23 1.35
Lannan 206 1/3
3.88 210 68 1.35

Same ratio, but Lannan’s ERA is more than two runs lower than Geer’s despite the fact that Geer was much better at preventing walks. Was Geer unlucky? Maybe he was, but the bigger deal was that the hits that Geer gave up were way worse than the hits that Lannan gave up. And ratio (or WHIP) doesn’t care because it treats all hits the same.

I think ratio is a nifty stat mostly because lots of people understand what it means and can quickly interpret that a 1.18 ratio is really good and a 1.58 ratio is pretty bad. Counting all hits the same is pretty limiting, though. They aren’t the same. Let’s look at Geer and Lannan again, and instead of using ratio ((hits + walks)/IP), let’s look at their total bases allowed plus walks over innings pitched in ’09:

Geer 102 2/3 23 3 27 226 23 2.43
Lannan 206 1/3 50 3 22 332 68 1.94

The point here isn’t that Lannan didn’t give up a lot of extra-base hits. He did. Only one player in the NL allowed more doubles than the 50 he gave up. The point is that Geer gave up more (53 in 102 2/3 or about .516 XBH per inning for Geer compared to 75 in 206 1/3 innings or about .363 per inning for Lannan) and that the extra-base hits that Geer gave up were worse than the extra-base hits that Lannan gave up. You can tell that by seeing that Geer allowed five more homers than Lannan in 103 2/3 fewer innings. The average extra-base hit yielded by Geer went for 3.08 bases while the average extra-base hit yielded by Lannan went for 2.63 bases. The difference between the severity of the hit that was allowed isn’t reflected by ratio, but it is if you replace it hits with total bases in the formula.

Jamie Moyer had a fantastic outing on Friday at the Phils topped the Yankees 3-0. Moyer allowed one hit and didn’t walk a batter over 6 2/3 innings, dropping his official spring ERA to 0.77. Victorino was 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs for the Phils.

I’m going to be very surprised if Moyer isn’t in the rotation at the start of the season.

Hamels didn’t fare as well on Saturday as the Phils fell to the Twins 8-4. Hamels allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. His ERA for the spring is up to 5.57. Contreras had a rough outing in the game as well, allowing three runs in 2/3 of an inning. Jim Thome connected for a two-run homer off of Contreras. Dobbs homered for the Phils and Francisco, Schneider and Castro all had two hits.

The Phillies and Pirates were rained out yesterday.

The Phillies sent John Mayberry to minor league camp yesterday. Mayberry hit 289/349/447 this spring and will be presumably be back the first time the Phillies need an outfielder or bench player. The linked article also says that Ibanez would not have played in yesterday’s game if it had not been rained out due to a bruise on his right arm.

Jayson Werth and Reggie Jackson had lunch on Friday. Werth suggests it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he’s a free agent after the 2010 season.

Madson will be the Phillies closer to start the season.

Phils break it to John Lannan gently that he’s just going to have to be content making music to change the world

The Washington Nationals are a miserable baseball team playing miserable baseball. But that’s not the Phillies’ fault. All you can ask the Phillies to do is beat the team in front of them and the Phillies did again last night to earn a sweep in the three-game set as the Nats lost their ninth in a row.

The Phils pounded Nationals’ started John Lannan for eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Washington made three errors behind him.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 8-4 to improve to 59-49 on the season. The Phils have won five in a row and are in first place in the NL East. The Mets trail them by one game.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four.

Ryan Zimmerman singled with two outs in the second, but Kendrick struck out Austin Kearns behind him.

He started the second up 3-0. Kory Casto doubled with one out. Ronnie Belliard was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Casto went to third and Rollins looked there but took the out at first. With Pete Orr at the plate, Kendrick delivered a ball in the dirt that went through Ruiz’s legs for a passed ball. Casto scored and it was 3-1. Pitcher John Lannan grounded to second for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Zimmerman started to swing at a 2-2 pitch that was up and in and was hit on the hand. He would leave the game in the top of the fourth. Kearns moved Zimmerman to second with a single before Jesus Flores singled to left. Zimmerman scored to make it 3-2. Kearns went to second on the single, but Casto grounded to short for the third out.

Kendrick started the fourth up 5-2. With one out Orr lined a ball off the glove of Rollins and into left for a single. Lannan bunted Orr to second, but Harris flew to center for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He hit Belliard with two outs in the sixth. Orr flew to center for the third out.

He came back for the seventh and got the first two before Milledge singled and Ryan Langerhans followed with a walk. Condrey came into the game and struck out Kearns to end the inning.

Condrey got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 eighth. His ERA on the year is down to 3.61.

Seanez started the ninth. Orr led off with a single and Felipe Lopez hit for pitcher Colome and doubled. With men on second and third, Harris grounded to first and Orr scored to cut the Phils’ lead to 8-3. Lopez moved to third on the play. Milledge was next and he swung and dribbled a ball down the first base line for the second out, but Lopez scored to make it 8-4. Seanez walked the lefty Langerhans. Durbin came in to pitch and got Kearns to fly to left to end the game.

The pen goes 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Condrey pitched well and Durbin got the only man he faced. Seanez wasn’t good. In his last two appearances he’s gotten three outs and been charged with six runs on four hits and two walks. Would have been nice to not have to use Durbin, who only threw five pitches but was pitching for the third straight day.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the lefty and Bruntlett at third. Ruiz catches.

Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out in the first. Utley flew to right before Howard moved Victorino to third with a single. Burrell fouled out to third to leave both runners stranded.

Werth led off the second and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for his fifteenth home run of the year. Bruntlett singled and went to second on a wild pitch before Ruiz singled, moving Bruntlett to third. Kendrick bunted Ruiz to second before Rollins hit a ground ball to third. Zimmerman took the out at first and Bruntlett scored to make it 2-0 with Ruiz holding second. Victorino hit a ball to third and Zimmerman’s throw to first and Victorino arrived at about the same time. The ball went in Casto’s glove and off of Victorino for an error that allowed Ruiz to score and Victorino to move to second with the Phils up 3-0. Utley walked before Howard struck out to end the frame.

Burrell led off the third with a walk but the Phils went in order behind him.

Still up 3-2, Kendrick led off the fourth and struck out on a pitch not handled by Flores. Kendrick turned towards the dugout and then ran to first. Flores lobbed a ball to first but offline and Kendrick was safe on the throwing error. Rollins got ahead 2-0 and hit one out to left to extend the lead to 5-2. Victorino was next and bunted for a single. He stole second before Utley and Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

Burrell led off the fifth with a walk. Werth struck out before Bruntlett grounded to short, with Burrell forced at second and Bruntlett safe at first. Bruntlett was picked off and thrown out at second base to set the Phillies down.

Rollins doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Victorino followed with a ball slowly hit to third where Belliard barehanded the ball and then threw wildly to first. Victorino had a single and Rollins scored to put the Phillies up 6-2. Belliard was charged with the Nats’ third error of the game. Utley moved Victorino to second with a single before Howard singled to right. Victorino scored to make it 7-2 and Utley went to third. Burrell singled to left and Utley scored. 8-2. Werth popped up to the pitcher to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Kendrick hit for himself with two outs and the Phils up 8-2. He had thrown 97 pitches.

With two outs and nobody on in the eighth, Jesus Colome drilled Utley with a 1-0 pitch after Kendrick had hit Zimmerman and Belliard earlier in the game. Howard grounded to second baseman Willie Harris playing in right field for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He was 4-for-13 in the series with two doubles and a home run. He’s hitting 272/334/444 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game. 6-for-13 with a home run in the series. 289/355/441 for the year, all of which be career highs for him at the end of any season in which he’s had more than 20 at-bats.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk. He was 5-for-11 with two home runs in the series and is hitting 293/373/571 for the year.

Howard 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-13 with four singles in the series. 239/323/498, all of which would be career lows for him.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with two walks. 4-for-11 in the series. 279/402/578 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-5 with his fifteenth home run. 1-for-5 in the series. 271/358/492 for the year. Jenkins was 2-for-7 with a walk in the series and is hitting 242/297/397 for the year.

Bruntlett 1-for-5 with a strikeout. 2-for-10 in the series. Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series but needs to play more given the injury to Feliz and the struggles of Jenkins. Dobbs is hitting 306/343/433 for the year.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-8 in the series. 217/311/281 for the year. Coste was 0-for-4 in the series and is hitting 285/333/489 for the year. Phillies’ catchers have hit to a .696 OPS for the season, which is tenth best in the NL (.725 (5th) in 2007 and .793 (5th) in 2006).

Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.27) faces righty Kyle Lohse (12-3, 3.68) tonight in St Louis. Lohse got hammered his last time out, allowing seven runs in five innings against the Mets on Sunday. Wright, Tatis and Castro all homered against him in that game. Before that start he had allowed seven earned runs in 36 innings (1.75 ERA) over his last five appearances. In 13 starts in St Louis this season he’s 6-1 with a 2.79 ERA. In ten starts away he’s 6-2 with a 5.16 ERA. Speaking of getting hammered in your last start, Hamels allowed nine runs in the fourth inning on Saturday against the Braves. Before that he had allowed two runs or fewer in four straight starts.

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