As a Minnesota Twins fan, I wonder, can we report Lance Lynn to the Better Business Bureau as a lemon?
The Minnesota Twins signed Lance Lynn to a $12 million one-year contract after the start of Spring Training. On paper, this is a great deal for the Twins to be able to acquire a battle-tested successful veteran.
Lynn is a former All-Star who won 72 games with a 3.38 ERA during his six-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Although he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lynn has always been an above-average starting pitcher in MLB. That is of course until he joined the Minnesota Twins, and the clock struck midnight.
Wait…what the hell happened?
Well, Twins fans, I’ll tell you exactly what has happened, Lynn has been worse than bad. The Twins recently removed Phil Hughes from the rotation and will give top pitching prospect Fernando Romero his big league chance. What does that have to do with how Lynn is pitching you might ask? Take a look at the stats, Lynn has been consistently worse than Hughes during the beginning of this season.
We won’t even talk about what happened for Lynn against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, Lynn has a 7.71 ERA with 22 strikeouts and a whopping 18 walks through his first four starts this season. His 8.7BB/9 is astoundingly high, however, he has a 10.6 K/9 and that would be a career high for him.
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His fastball velocity is at 93.3 MPH, according to FanGraphs that’s right around his career average. Lynn’s biggest issue has been the walks and the Minnesota Twins will need him to figure things out, and quick.
Allow me to provide a little bit of hope
Lynn has a proven track record of success and although he has been ineffective, Minnesota needs to stay patient with him. Removing Lynn from the rotation is out of the question right now and he will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself moving forward.
His 52% ground ball rate shows that he’s still inducing grounders at a high rate. However, Lynn is throwing his fastball only 26% of the time, and that is a pitch he needs to rely on. There is also the effect of pitching in a new league to consider and right now Lynn is being dominated in the American League.
Coming from the National League is bound to be a major adjustment. Lynn faces a lineup with nine MLB hitters every start, instead of eight, with a pitcher/pinch hitters. On top of that, having an entire series postponed is never a good thing for a pitcher. He missed out on a chunk of Spring Training, then had his starts moved around in-season, that’s tough for any pitcher.
Lynn isn’t a top of the rotation type of pitcher so, therefore, he isn’t worth $12 million. However, he isn’t a seven+ ERA pitcher either, so something has to give. The next few months will be crucial for the future of Lance Lynn.