Phillies pitching coach and changeup guru Rich Dubee noticed Lannan's change "was a little firm," Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported, and worked with the lefty to soften it up and increase the differential bewteen it and his high-80s fastball. According to Salisbury, Dubee noticed the same firmness in Lannan's first inning Friday and the two made an in-game adjustment that helped Lannan.
The numbers bear out what Dubee saw. According to Fangraphs, Lannan's changeup has been between 3 and 5 miles per hour slower than his fastball the last two seasons, which is a pretty minimal dropoff. If Dubee can fix that, and the pitch in general, it could be a huge help for Lannan against righthanded pitching.
Since 2010, righties have hit .296 with a .795 OPS off Lannan, compared to .248 with a .662 OPS for lefties. Statistically, the changeup has been Lannan's best pitch over the course of his career, but Dubee is the same man who helped Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Kyle Kendrick improve their own version of it.
Charlie not thrilled with young RPs
Charlie Manuel challenged the Phillies' young arms after Friday's game, saying it's time to "pick it up." It's not the results that has Manuel fired up about the relievers fighting for spots, it's the way they're pitching.
“It’s not always the scoreless innings,” he said, per Salisbury. “It’s how you get there.”
Based simply off of the way information has come out of Clearwater the last week or so, it is looking more and more like Aaron Cook will make this team as a long man out of the 'pen and insurance policy for the rotation. That would cost a young reliever like Justin De Fratus or Jake Diekman a spot. De Fratus allowed a solo homer Friday in his second inning of work. It ended his scoreless streak of five innings.