Cardinals' Lance Lynn had a much-needed rebound in his second Spring Training start

After an eventful appearance for all the wrong reasons in his first start, Lance Lynn was the one who looked to be in mid-season form in start #2.
St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day
St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day / Elsa/GettyImages
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In what was an aggressive pursuit this winter for some reliable starting pitching, The Cardinals decided to bring back a familiar face to the fold for 2024, the gritty and stocky right-hander Lance Lynn, who is gearing up for his second stint in St. Louis.

Despite Lynn being generally well-liked by the fan base when he was first in St. Louis from 2011 to 2016, the move to bring him back had its skeptics. Granted Lynn has been known as an " innings eater " and somebody who can grind out starts even on days when he doesn't have his best stuff, but his production has faded over the past two seasons. After being an All-Star in 2021 with the White Sox, he has an ERA of a touch over 5 over the past two years, and he has allowed 63 home runs over 305 plus innings, 48 of those coming in 2023 (including the postseason). And going into his first spring start for 2024, he left a lot to be desired.

On March 8, Lynn started against the Washington Nationals, and in the first inning, Lynn allowed 4 earned runs (all with 2 outs) on 2 hits and 3 walks before he was removed for Brycen Mautz. In Spring Training, pitchers are allowed to re-enter a game after previously being removed, Lynn returned and pitched a scoreless 2nd inning. Then after retiring the first batter of the 3rd inning, Lynn was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez, along with his manager Oli Marmol. Lynn was also not allowed to continue throwing in the bullpen and he was asked to leave the field. Some of these events mentioned can be found here as this particular game was not televised.

Lynn was hoping for a reset and surely a longer appearance on Thursday as he was starting at Roger Dean Stadium against the Mets, and their lineup consisted of mostly regular big league players, and Lynn was in cruise control. In 4 innings Lynn only allowed one hit, he did not give up a run, or a base on balls, and struck out 4. He threw 58 total pitches and 39 for strikes (an approximate 67.2% strike percentage) and he was attacking hitters, as he threw a strike on the first pitch to 9 of the 13 batters he faced.

When it comes to the arsenal Lynn used, according to gameday on the MLB app, Lynn threw 21 four-seam fastballs, 17 cutters, 10 change-ups, 8 sinkers, and 2 sliders. We know that Lynn is someone who has to mix it up with his pitches to disturb the timing of hitters since he lacks a true breaking ball and doesn't throw with much velocity (he maxed out at 93 MPH on Thursday), and he was able to do just that versus New York.

Lance Lynn is one of the guys who could determine how the 2024 season will go for the Cardinals, and if we see more of what we saw from Lynn in his second spring start and less of what we saw in his first, it'll help the Cardinals fan base, and the organization, be more optimistic for what's to come this upcoming season.

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