We should probably have seen John Lannan‘s acquisition coming. The Phillies were intimately familiar with Lannan, for reasons both good (the Phils had smacked him around for a collective .899 OPS over 448 plate appearances) and bad (he was ejected from his debut for hitting Chase Utley and Ryan Howard consecutively, the former derailing a possible MVP season). So Ruben Amaro opted for the traditional boring fifth starter play, taking the divisional guy that could grind away some innings and, theoretically anyway, keep the game winnable. It wasn’t a bad idea, either. Prior to 2013, Lannan had been essentially league average in terms of ERA, which would have been more than effective enough for the last slot in the rotation on any team.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury is reporting that former Phillies shortstop, coach, and manager Larry Bowa is close to an agreement that would make him the bench coach under manager Ryne Sandberg. Salisbury notes that Sandberg is close to Bowa as Bowa was his mentor with the Chicago Cubs after the Ivan DeJesus trade sent them out of Philly.