Maxwell, Lannan earn minor league honors
The Nationals announced their minor league player and pitcher of the year this morning, and I think the choices were rather obvious: Justin Maxwell and John Lannan, two kids who began the year in Class A and ended up in the majors.
Maxwell: Started the year at low-Class A Hagerstown, moved to Potomac, would have been at Harrisburg if he hadn't sneezed -- thus straining an oblique muscle. The 23-year-old from Olney, Md., and a former Terrapin combined to hit .281 with 25 doubles, 27 homers, 83 RBI and 35 stolen bases for Hagerstown and Potomac. He homered the other night off Tom Glavine's changeup, his second major league home run (the other being a pinch-hit grand slam). He led the Nationals' system in homers and ranked second in both RBI and steals.
Lannan: He turns 23 today, and he went a combined 12-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 21 games (19 starts), beginning the year at Potomac, moving to Harrisburg and ending up at Class AAA Columbus. He was tops in the system in ERA and was second in wins. He also came up to the majors, went 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA, broke Chase Utley's hand and fanned Barry Bonds in San Francisco while he was sitting on 755. Twice, he tossed seven innings of one-run ball. The Nats shut him down because of concerns about his workload, but he is a contender for the major league rotation next year.
Also: Shawn Hill's surgery was yesterday. The club called it "successful." So there's that. I'll check in with him sometime in coming weeks.
Day off today. Enjoy it. The race continues tomorrow.
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