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Lannan could be finished after hurting knee again

ATLANTA - John Lannan hid behind his black glove. The soundtrack for his Wednesday start, the Braves' trademark Tomahawk Chop, looped yet again. Pitching coach Rich Dubee sensed trouble in the second inning of a 6-3 Phillies loss, and that is when Lannan's night ended because of a knee injury.

John Lannan (27) works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (John Bazemore/AP)
John Lannan (27) works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (John Bazemore/AP)Read more

ATLANTA - John Lannan hid behind his black glove. The soundtrack for his Wednesday start, the Braves' trademark Tomahawk Chop, looped yet again. Pitching coach Rich Dubee sensed trouble in the second inning of a 6-3 Phillies loss, and that is when Lannan's night ended because of a knee injury.

Later, he spoke with despair. He may have thrown his final pitch for the Phillies.

"I feel like I'm letting everybody down - letting myself down, my family down - but you have to look at the silver lining," Lannan said. "Hopefully I can get this thing fixed."

Lannan, signed to a $2.5 million contract to act as the Phillies' fifth starter, will be examined by a doctor Thursday. He said this injury is a recurrence of the one that sidelined him for two months earlier in 2013. He said there is a structural issue that has festered for years.

Lannan's ERA is 5.33. The Phillies hold his 2014 rights through another arbitration year, and they probably will not tender him a contract. The 28-year-old lefthander will prioritize his long-term future.

""It's something that needs to be fixed," Lannan said. "Now it's at the point where I want to be able to do things between starts to get ready. . . . I want to be a normal player."

He covered his face as he explained the ailment to Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel. Lannan was removed after 11/3 innings. He was charged with five runs on four hits and three walks. He threw one more strike (23) than balls (22).

Tyler Cloyd most likely will replace Lannan. He threw a 116-pitch complete game Wednesday for triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old righty started six games for the Phillies earlier this season.

The rotation is in flux. Both Roy Halladay and Jonathan Pettibone will pitch in minor-league rehab outings Thursday while the Phillies take a day off. Halladay will start for the Gulf Coast League Phillies; Pettibone is with double-A Reading. Both could return by September.

Lannan's night was gruesome from the beginning. He allowed a home run to Jason Heyward, the first Braves hitter he faced.

"He's had a couple of games where he's been pretty good," Manuel said. "He just has't been able to go out there consistently in our rotation."

The Phillies waited through a 1-hour, 48-minute rain delay. Their reward was another injured pitcher.

Delmon Young released

Delmon Young, a former No. 1 overall pick, is now hired gun at age 27. The Phillies released Young on Wednesday after designating him for assignment last week. Young cleared waivers and refused an assignment to triple-A Lehigh Valley.

A contending team may take a chance on his bat. The Phillies will cover his salary, minus the prorated league minimum, if another team signs him. In total, the Phillies will pay Young approximately $1.75 million.

Extra bases

Manuel said Darin Ruf's misplay in right field Tuesday that led to a Braves run was an unfortunate byproduct of a necessary experiment. "You have to give him a pass until he gets some experience," Manuel said. "If you put him out there, you can't expect him to be perfect."

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