At Syracuse, Lannan honed his mechanics with pitching coach Greg Booker and, eventually, emerged believing he bettered himself as a person, too.
“It was definitely an eye-opening experience going down there,” Lannan said. “The first couple weeks were rough. … Just because last year didn’t work out doesn’t mean my career is over. You’ve got to look past it.”
That started when the Nationals, as expected, non-tendered Lannan after the season. In December, he followed a gut feeling and signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal to compete for a job at the back end of the Phillies‘ rotation. They get a pitcher backed by 134 starts over six seasons who once cracked that his best pitch is anything that’s a strike.
As the 28-year-old adjusts to his first spring training with a team other than the Nationals, he’s also learning about changing diapers after he and his wife, Maryanne, welcomed their first child a month ago.
Lannan holds no grudges against the Nationals and insists baseball decisions can’t be taken personally. Time has made those words easier. But there’s a wariness, too.
“Never assume anything coming to spring,” Lannan said. “Last year is definitely an example of that.
“No one knows what the future holds.”
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