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New-look Phillies finalize 1-year deal with Lannan

New-look Phillies finalize 1-year deal with Lannan

PHILADELPHIA (AP) John Lannan could hardly beat the Philadelphia Phillies, so he joined them.

Lannan signed a $2.5 million, one-year contract on Tuesday, adding depth to a rotation that lost starter Vance Worley when he was traded away.

The 28-year-old Lannan was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six starts for the NL East-champion Washington Nationals this year. He also made 24 starts for Triple-A Syracuse, going 9-11 with a 4.30 ERA.

Lannan struggled against the Phillies over the years. He was 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA against them, including a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts at Citizens Bank Park.

``I think it's more me not executing,'' Lannan said. ``That's what it comes down to, and it's against really good Philly lineups. So I think it comes down to me executing pitches. It doesn't really matter where you're pitching. This park is smaller. You've just got to execute your pitches.''

Lannan's deal includes performance incentives. He gets $200,000 each for 150, 160, 170, 180 and 190 innings, $250,000 each for 200 and 210 innings and $250,000 for 31-34 starts.

Overall, Lannan was 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 games - all starts - in six seasons for Washington. Worley was dealt to Minnesota along with minor-league righty Trevor May for center fielder Ben Revere.

``It's a great opportunity,'' Lannan said. ``I feel like the Phillies have a great shot of winning the NL East and going to the World Series.''

After finalizing the deal for Lannan, the Phillies introduced new third baseman Michael Young. The seven-time All-Star arrived in a trade with Texas earlier this month.

``I couldn't be more excited to be a member of this organization right now,'' Young said. ``This is a team with a really strong history of winning over here the past five or six seasons. Great history and a great fan base. A loud, intense and fun ballpark. All those things really appealed to me.''

A former AL Gold Glove winner at shortstop, Young hasn't played third base regularly since 2010. He made 40 starts at first base, 25 at third base, 14 at second base and four at shortstop last year. Young feels he will benefit from concentrating on one position.

``My time at third will be easier because I can donate all my reps to third,'' he said. ``The toughest part of playing different spots is dividing your reps. Taking 25 percent of your balls at third because you have to go to short, second and first. I'm looking forward to that and getting down to Clearwater and getting a lot of reps under my belt.''

Young batted .277 with eight homers and 67 RBIs in 2012, a down year for him. From 2003-11, Young hit at least .300 seven times and averaged 17 homers and 90 RBIs.

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Mike Rizzo says Davey Martinez is 'doing well' following procedure on heart

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Mike Rizzo says Davey Martinez is 'doing well' following procedure on heart

Nationals manager Davey Martinez is on the mend after remaining in Washington following a cardiac catheterization procedure, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told the Sports Junkies on Wednesday.

“Yesterday he was home, he had much more energy than the day before when I spoke to him and I think he’s resting comfortably and doing well," Rizzo said.

In the interim, bench coach Chip Hale has taken over as manager in Martinez's absence during the Nats' series against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Rizzo said Hale and Martinez are in "constant contact" leading up to games and Martinez texts Hale the lineup and they discuss strategy prior to the first pitch.

“We miss Davey's presence and energy and enthusiasm and the players really miss him," Rizzo said. "But until he gets back, this team is under great care and great baseball people.”

Rizzo said Martinez's doctors need to clear him to travel and once they do, he will be rejoining the team.

“The doctors tell me that when he does join the team that he’ll have no limitations and he should be fine," Rizzo said.

The Nationals conclude their series against the Cardinals Wednesday at 1:15 p.m.

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Patrick Corbin helps the Nationals, so does Sonny Gray

Patrick Corbin helps the Nationals, so does Sonny Gray

The night set up well.

Patrick Corbin was on the mound for the Nationals. Chris Paddack was throwing for San Diego against Milwaukee. Sonny Gray opposed the Chicago Cubs. Good teams deploy a decent starter almost every night. Bad teams have a good starter ready once or twice a week. So, while the Nationals again wrestled with St. Louis, they received some help from the rotations employed elsewhere by poor teams playing the main wild-card competition.

Corbin made sure Washington handled what it could control in St. Louis. He hung in for six innings on 110 pitches, allowing just an earned run and striking out 11. He also walked four -- two of which were ex-teammate Paul Goldschmidt, the lone St. Louis hitter appearing capable of identifying Corbin’s slider. Fernando Rodney pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Well-rested Daniel Hudson finished the game along. Chip Hale again managed in place of the recuperating Davey Martinez.

Corbin’s ERA is 3.10. His WHIP is 1.16. He’s made 31 starts. Why did the Nationals give him an extra contract year? Why did they offer more money? This is precisely why. Stabilization exists in the middle of their rotation because of the $140 million allotted to Corbin. And, he may even have a case to start the Wild-Card Game, depending on the opponent and whether the Nationals get there. Corbin’s argument to take the mound would be solid. Washington reaching the game remains an embattled proposition.

Paddack pitched well against Milwaukee, where he was restricted to just 84 pitches to close his rookie year. However, the San Diego bullpen blew the game in the eighth inning. So, Milwaukee keeps rolling, winning a bullpen game which featured a mid-section with three scoreless innings from old friend Gio Gonzalez. The Brewers have won nine of 10, 11 of 12, 14 of 17. They are two games behind St. Louis for the National League Central Division lead.

Which makes Wednesday’s day game between two grizzled right-handers not just about the Nationals pushing back current wild-card opponents, but also a possible future one. Max Scherzer will pitch for Washington against Adam Wainwright. They have combined for 734 regular-season starts. Wednesday will rank among their important ones.

San Diego’s bullpen did not hold up Tuesday. Cincinnati’s did. Gray went 6 ⅔ innings, struck out nine and positioned the Reds for a win. They haven’t put together a winning month since May. September is steeped in the same mediocrity: Cincinnati was 7-9 in the month entering Tuesday. But, it held on to beat the Cubs. Which meant Milwaukee jumped into a dead heat with Chicago. Each has 11 games to play.

Interesting about the Nationals' schedule is they have a game-in-hand on both Chicago and Milwaukee thanks to the packed final-week schedule. The June 17 postponement between Washington and Philadelphia could have an enormous impact on which teams make the postseason.

Tuesday, Corbin delivered the most impact. Howie Kendrick backed him with more 35-year-old offense. Paddack tried to slow the Brewers. Gray did handle the Cubs. All of which kept the Nationals atop the wild-card standings with a 1 ½-game lead -- for now.

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