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Phillies Notebook: Lannan returns to starting rotation

John Lannan returns to rotation.

Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds Lannan made his first start in two months Monday night for the Phillies.

During the Phillies' last homestand John Lannan was antsy.

"I can't wait to get back," Lannan said. "I'm getting there."

The former Nationals pitcher returned to the mound Monday night against his ex-teammates, exactly two months after straining his quadriceps tendon in his left knee against the Reds. Lannan was sharp in a rehab start last Wednesday for Double-A Reading. He gave up seven hits and two runs in seven innings.

"I've been honest the whole process and I think I'm ready," Lannan said after that start.

"It'll be interesting to see what he can give us," Charlie Manuel said. "He pitched good before he got hurt."

Lannan, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal after six seasons in a Nationals uniform, kept the Phillies in games before he got injured.

"I like what I see in Lannan," Manuel said. "They say he's been throwing the ball real good [in the minors]."

Making moves

To make room for Lannan, The Phillies placed Jeremy Horst on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow strain.
• Horst has been a disappointment after having a terrific 2012. He finished last season with a 1.15 ERA. This season, Horst has struggled mightily out of the bullpen.
• Horst was 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in 28 games this season. He is 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA for his MLB career. You may recall Horst came over from the Reds in the Wilson Valdez trade.

Phillies farm system can't compete

The Phillies might be only a few games behind the Nationals in the NL East standings, but they are light years in the rear-view mirror when it comes to the farm system.

Focus on third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was recently called up to play second base. The Nationals are as offensively challenged as the Phillies — except for Rendon. He has been smoking the ball, just like he did in Double-A — he was hitting .444 entering Monday night's game against the Phils.

The Phillies have nothing like Rendon, who has potential star written all over him, in their system.

"You know Rendon, who is a solid third baseman, will replace Ryan Zimmerman at third and they'll put Zimmerman at first when Adam LaRoche's contract expires (after the 2015 season)," a NL scout said. "They'll figure out what to do with him in the interim. The sky is the limit for this kid. Rendon is an absolute stud."

You don't hear scouts say that about any offensive players in the Phillies' system.

Is Papelbon headed out?

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon might be on the trade market. The Tigers, Red Sox and Cardinals are all pursuing the All-Star, according to a Boston Globe report. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said he doesn't want to "blow up" the team, but he would consider trading Papelbon for young talent.

 
 
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