St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn Loss Adds Intrigue to the Hot Stove


"St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and will miss the entire 2016 season."

Source: St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn (Tommy John) out for season – MLB –

This is a big kick in the groin, Cardinal Nation. First, we lost Carlos Martinez to ominous shoulder issues in

September. Then, the top prospect in the system, righthander Alex Reyes, got suspended for 50 games for using marijuana (too bad he wasn’t on the 40-man roster). Now this.

Lynn, a 6-5, 240-lb. righthander the Cardinals drafted in the first round back in 2008, was really the

Until we meet again, Lance Lynn … Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

backbone of the starting rotation last year. He made 31 starts despite missing a couple in June. Now that we know what’s going on — and the Cardinals said nothing about Lynn in their end-of-the-season powow with reporters — that 4.23 ERA in September was probably Lynn’s arm slowly giving out.

Now what? Adam Wainwright will be back to lead the rotation. Whatever was wrong with Martinez’ shoulder didn’t require surgery, so he falls into the #2 spot. Or maybe Jaime Garcia does. He’s signed for one more year.

Then, we have to wonder how much faith former phenom Michael Wacha deserves. Consider this little nugget from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the day of Wacha’s final start of 2015, which ended up being an 8-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLDS:

"Wacha (17-7) posted a 2.93 ERA before the All-Star break. After, it’s up to 4.01. He hasn’t pitched more than six innings in a start since Aug. 17. His ERA in the seven starts and 36 innings that followed: 5.50. Eight of the 19 home runs he surrendered this season came during that span."

After Wacha, we have the enigmatic Tyler Lyons. A 9th rounder out of Oklahoma State in 2010, the 25-year-old righthander hasn’t made more than eight starts in any of this three seasons in the bigs. I, for one, have a morbid curiosity to see what he could do.

It’s unlikely to come to that, though. As CBS baseball writer Mike Axisa surmised earlier today, St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has the luxury of having the whole free agency period in front of him, and he’ll almost definitely sign one or two pitchers before it’s all said and done. This not only brings to light USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale’s assertion last week that the Cardinals will sign David Price. Now, we all have to wonder if the team has a reclamation project in mind.

Next: End of Season Draft Recap

The Hot Stove season just got a little hotter today.