Not long after nabbing reliever Mike Adams, the Phillies continued their offseason shopping by signing starting pitcher John Lannan to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract. The agreement comes a couple of days after reports surfaced that the team was looking for an inexpensive veteran to fill its fourth or fifth rotation spot.
Lannan is pretty much just rotational filler. There’s nothing sexy about his game; his skillset (or lack thereof) makes him a serviceable Major League starter and not much more. He doesn’t generate a lot of strikeouts (4.71 career K/9) and doesn’t make up for it with command (3.40 career BB/9). He can, however, induce ground balls at an above-average rate (53.0% career GB%, which places him 10th among active starting pitchers). Despite his pitch-to-contact style, he managed to post ERAs south of 4 in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and owns a very respectable 4.01 ERA over 6 big-league seasons. Continue reading