John Edward Lannan (born September 27, 1984) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut with the Washington Nationals in 2007 against the Philadelphia Phillies; he was ejected from his first MLB game. He pitched with the Nationals for six seasons through 2012 and was the opening day starter in 2009 and 2010, losing both times. He was relegated out of the rotation in 2012, and was eventually non-tendered making him a free agent. In December 2012, he signed with the division rival Phillies, with whom he was the fifth starter during the 2013 season. He played with the New York Mets in 2014.
Lannan with the New York Mets
|Born: September 27, 1984|
Long Beach, New York
|July 26, 2007, for the Washington Nationals|
|April 13, 2014, for the New York Mets|
|Earned run average||4.18|
Lannan was born in Long Beach, New York. Following his time as captain of the baseball team at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, Lannan pitched for the Siena Saints of Siena College. He was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 11th round (324th overall) of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft.
He pitched for the low Single-A Vermont Expos in 2005 and the Single-A Savannah Sand Gnats in 2006, compiling ERAs of 5.26 and 4.76 respectively. In 2007, however, he blazed through the minors. He began the year for the high-A Potomac Nationals going 6–0 with an ERA of 2.13 and was promoted to the Double-A Harrisburg. He went 3–2 with a 3.25 ERA and got bumped up to Triple-A Columbus, where he started six games, and went 3–1 with a 1.75 ERA. In July 2007, he was called up to the MLB team following his impressive numbers.
The Nationals, decimated by injuries to their starting pitchers, purchased his contract on July 26, 2007, for Lannan to start against the Philadelphia Phillies. In his debut, behind 3–2 with one out in the fifth inning, Lannan hit Chase Utley with a fastball (breaking Utley's hand) and then hit Ryan Howard on the next pitch, whereupon umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately ejected Lannan from the game; Lannan was the first Major Leaguer in a decade to be tossed from his debut. The next would be former Astros pitcher Kyle Weiland who was ejected in his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. Lannan picked up his first Major League win, in his second start, six days later, in which he held the Cincinnati Reds hitless through three and scoreless through five inning before allowing two runs in the sixth.
On August 6, 2007, in just his third major league start, found himself on the national stage as he faced the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in Barry Bonds's first start after tying Hank Aaron's Major League Baseball's home run record. The 22-year-old Lannan held Bonds to no hits; in four plate appearances Bonds fouled out to third, walked, grounded into a double play, and, as Lannan's last batter, struck out on a 3–2 curveball with two out and one on in the seventh. Lannan finished with seven innings of one-run ball pitched, although the Nats went on to lose 3–2 in 11 innings.
He ended the year with a 2–2 record and an ERA of 4.15 in six starts, becoming one of the Nationals best starters. Over the next two years, he pitched more than 385 total innings with an ERA under 3.90. Only 22 other pitchers did that, earning him the starter position for opening day in 2009 and 2010.
Lannan threw his first complete game on June 6, 2009, a 7–1 win over the New York Mets, and a month and a half later threw his first complete game shutout on July 21, 2009, a 4–0 shutout of the Mets. The 2009 season saw Lannan pitch to a 3.88 earned run average with a 9-13 record and 89 strikeouts through 206.1 innings.
His 2010 season started off poorly, allowing seven hits, three walks, and five runs in only 32⁄3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day. After a stretch of two weeks in June, where in three games, he compiled a 10.38 ERA while allowing 38 base runners in 13 innings, on June 21, 2010, Lannan was optioned to the class AA Harrisburg Senators. He was sent to AA rather than AAA because he had previously worked well with Harrisburg pitching coach Randy Tomlin. He had gone 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA in 14 start before being sent down. In the minors, he compiled a 4.20 ERA in 7 games started with 28 strikeouts and a 1-4 record. The Nationals later recalled Lannan in August to take the place of the injured Stephen Strasburg (who later had Tommy John surgery). He finished the season with a total of 143.1 IP, an 8-8 record, a 4.65 ERA, and 71 strikeouts in 25 GS.
On July 22, 2011, Lannan hit his first career home run off Hiroki Kuroda of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a two-run home run, giving the Nationals a 3–0 lead, en route to a 7–2 win at Dodger Stadium. The southpaw pitched to a 3.70 ERA in 33 starts (184.2 IP) plus 106 Ks, and a 10-13 record.
Lannan failed to earn a spot in the Nationals' 2012 starting rotation, losing the competition for the fifth slot to Ross Detwiler, and was optioned to AAA Syracuse to start the season. Lannan requested a trade to depart from the Washington Nationals. He was called up to the Nationals on July 21 to start against the Atlanta Braves. Lannan made a minor change in his mechanics in AAA, resulting in a sharper downward angle on his throwing motion. The tweak appeared to have a positive effect, as Lannan's last two starts in the minors were complete-game shutouts.
Lannan was called up again as part of the Nationals' 2012 September call-ups, filling the starting rotation job of Stephen Strasburg after Strasburg was shut down in early September. From September 12 through October 1, Lannan accrued a 4.58 ERA in 192⁄3 innings over four starts, striking out 10 batters and allowing 24 hits, 7 bases on balls and 10 earned runs. He did not pitch in the 2012 postseason. At AAA, he tossed 3 complete games (2 shutouts) over 24 starts with a 9-11 record, 86 punchouts, and a 4.30 earned run average. In total, he started just 6 games (32 2/3 IP) for Washington, resulting in a 4-1 record in addition to 17 strikeouts and a 4.13 ERA.
On December 18, 2012, Lannan signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies that includes up to an additional $2.5 million in performance bonuses. Lannan initially was hesitant to sign with the Phillies, but after chatting with former Nationals' teammate who was now with the Phillies Laynce Nix, he was excited to sign. Phillies general manager Rubén Amaro, Jr. commented,
He is a solid veteran who has always been a strike thrower ... it is very important to have as much starting pitching depth as possible. I think this year John has provided that.
Lannan was happy to sign with a northeast team due to their hard-nosed mentality, but previously, he had a "unique" history with the Phillies including being ejected in his major league debut, which he made at Citizens Bank Park, during which he hit Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in consecutive at bats. In starts against the Phillies after that incident, he had a career record of 3 wins, 13 losses and a 5.53 earned run average (ERA). He made the Phillies rotation out of spring training as the fifth starter, and pitched reliably for the Phillies including one stretch in July during which he allowed only one earned run in 16 innings pitched.
During his 14th start of the season, Lannan exited in the second inning with a left knee injury. Later, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to tendinosis in his left knee. At that point in the season, he had a three win, six loss season with an ERA of 5.33. On August 20, 2013, the Phillies announced that Lannan would miss the remainder of the season with what their assistant general manager Scott Proefrock called a "ruptured tendon", which the team physician said would require surgery.
In October 2013, the Phillies outrighted Lannan, which he refused, making him a free agent.
New York MetsEdit
On January 18, 2014, the Mets signed Lannan to a minor league contract, with an invite to major league Spring training. Out of camp, he earned a job in the bullpen. However, he was subsequently outrighted off the roster when Daisuke Matsuzaka was called up from the minor leagues. Lannan elected free agency in October 2014.
On November 18, 2014, the Colorado Rockies signed Lannan to a minor league contract, with an invite to major league Spring training.
Kansas City RoyalsEdit
On December 14, 2015, Lannan signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals.
Second Stint With NationalsEdit
Long Island DucksEdit
Lannan throws five pitches, the primary one being a two-seam fastball at 89–91 mph. He also throws a four-seam fastball (88–91), a slider (79–83), a curveball (74–77), and a changeup (84–88). His repertoire against left-handed hitters consists mostly of fastballs and sliders, while he adds the changeup against right-handers. He relies most heavily on his slider in 2-strike counts.
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- Nick Cafardo (August 7, 2007). "Standup guy Lannan keeps Bonds at bay". Boston Globe.
- Kilgore, Adam (June 21, 2010). "John Lannan sent to Class AA Harrisburg (final update)". Nationals Journal. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "John Lannan, Game Logs, 2010, Pitching". Fangraphs. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- Comak, Amanda (April 4, 2012). "John Lannan requests trade from Nationals after demotion to Triple-A". The Washington Times. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Comak, Amanda (July 21, 2012). "Nationals recall John Lannan for Game two of doubleheader; DFA Xavier Nady". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Kilgore, Adam (September 12, 2012). "John Lannan stands tall, steps into void left by Stephen Strasburg's shutdown". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Wagner, James (August 31, 2012). "Nationals expect to call up John Lannan, Sandy Leon, Eury Perez on Saturday, add Mark DeRosa". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Comak, Amanda (November 30, 2012). "Nationals non-tender John Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Flores". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Kilgore, Adam (18 December 2012). "John Lannan's signing with the Phillies becomes official". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Casterioto, Greg (2013). Clark, Bonnie (ed.). "The Patriot". Phillies (Print). 2013 (5): 38–40.
- Axisa, Mike (August 15, 2013). "John Lannan leaves start with knee injury, season may be over". Eye on Baseball - CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Berry, Adam (August 15, 2013). "Phillies left-hander John Lannan will hit the disabled list with left-knee tendinosis". phillies.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Zolecki, Todd (August 20, 2013). "Lannan out for the season with left knee injury". phillies.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Lannan lands bullpen job". Albany Times Union. Associated Press. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Perry, Dayn (April 16, 2014). "Mets call up Daisuke Matsuzaka, outright John Lannan". Eye on Baseball – CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Polishuk, Mark (October 6, 2014). "Players Who Have Elected Minor League Free Agency". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: John Lannan". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 21 July 2012.