Exit Interview: Lance Lynn

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Name: Lance Lynn

Season stats: 15-10, 3.97 ERA, 33 games, 201.2 IP, 189 H, 76 BB, 198 K, 1.31 WHIP

Hero/Goat: Hero 8, Goat 10

Overall grade: B

Positives: With a significant weight loss and a strong start to the season, it looked like Lynn had put his problems at the end of 2012 behind him.  Through his first 12 starts, not only was he 8-1, he’d put up a 2.76 ERA and opponents had an OPS of .607 against him.  He also responded well to almost losing his slot in the rotation, going 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his last four starts.  His best game may have come in August, when he threw eight innings and struck out 11 Reds, though twice during the season he struck out 10 in just six frames.

Negatives: Unfortunately, the specter of 2012 couldn’t be shaken quite that easily.  Between June 15, when he gave up seven earned runs against a weaker Miami team, and September 5, when he lasted just five innings (allowing four runs) against the Reds in the middle of a pennant race, Lynn went 5-9 with a 5.53 ERA.  Even his September goodness was discounted by the fact that he faced four substandard teams and October wasn’t much better, kicked off by giving up five to Pittsburgh in the divisional series (though one of those was an inherited runner allowed by Seth Maness).

Outlook: Lynn gets a lot of grief for bad body language and the apparent tendency to let things snowball on him.  There’s no doubt that there is plenty of talent in his frame and if he could ever harness it on a consistent basis, he could be a fearsome starter in this league.  However, given two straight years of tailing performance in the middle of the year, you’d expect John Mozeliak will at least listen if other teams think they can straighten him out.

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