For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong. The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year. Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter. As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.
Player: Lance Lynn
Season stats: 11-8, 3.43 ERA, 33 games, 186.1 IP, 151 H, 78 BB, 153 K, 1.229 WHIP, 4.82 FIP, 3.1 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 5, Goat 5
Overall grade: B+
Positives: Came back from Tommy John surgery to tie for the league lead in starts made….had scoreless outings in six of his 33 outings….finished the season by allowing just one run in five innings against the Cubs….threw eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the Giants September 2….righties hit .203 against him….had a 2.95 home ERA….had a 3.21 ERA in the second half….allowed just seven homers in the second half after allowing 20 in the first half….batters had a .571 OPS in July….when getting two or less runs of support, limited batters to a .552 OPS….with two strikes, batters had a .536 OPS….batters hit .202 the second time around….was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA against the Reds.
Negatives: Had back to back games in June where he allowed seven runs….Allowed eight runs in less than an inning against the Pirates while the team was desperately clinging to life….allowed an .818 OPS to lefties….had an 8.22 ERA in games that he lost….batters hit .290 on the first pitch….had a 6.86 ERA against Pittsburgh….batters had a .746 OPS away from St. Louis….his K/9 rate dropped by over a full strikeout….his K/BB rate slipped below 2.00….had the highest HR/9 rate of his career.
Overview: Lance Lynn was, well, Lance Lynn. He pitched six innings most of the time (13 of his starts were exactly six innings in length, including a stretch of seven in a row from mid-July to mid-August) and usually gave you a quality start. When the trade deadline came in July, it seemed most logical to send him packing and get some return for him, given that he would be a free agent at the end of the year. Nothing ever came of it and Lynn did fine enough enough afterwards–the 3.92 ERA for August and September is skewed a bit by that disaster of a game in Pittsburgh–so given the fact that the team got back into the heat of things, maybe no trade was for the best.
Outlook: As mentioned, Lynn is a free agent, or will be when he files right after the World Series. The Cardinals will extend him the qualifying offer, because they’d love to have Lynn for a year (or even two). The problem is that Lynn will be looking for what could be his only real payday and some team will likely give him five years and close to $100 million. That’s not in the plans in St. Louis and they’ll wish him well as he goes on his merry way.