Chicago Cubs: Making the case for free agent Lance Lynn in 2018
Consistency over the years
Lynn broke into the league in 2011 at the age of 24. In 18 appearances that season, Lynn started just two games. The following season, 2012, Lynn begun working more out of the rotation, starting 29 games out of 35 total appearances.
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In his first full season as a starter, Lynn amassed 176 innings pitched and won 18 games. In addition to that, the right-hander logged a 3.78 ERA and struck out 180 batters. For his efforts, Lynn was selected to his first and only All-Star Game.
From 2013 to 2015, Lynn was an above average pitcher for the Cardinals. Over those three seasons, Lynn started 97 games and went 42-31 with a 3.25 ERA. In addition to that, Lynn averaged 8.5 strikeouts per game and logged an ERA+ of 115.
Following a stellar body of work over those three seasons, Lynn was forced to miss the entire 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery. With three straight seasons of 30 or more starts under his belt dating back to 2013, the question surrounding Lynn in 2017 was whether he could reach that level again following surgery. The answer to that question was yes.
At age 30, Lynn made 33 starts and went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA. In addition to that, Lynn logged 186 1/3 innings pitched and amassed an ERA+ of 124. Despite his solid numbers, there was some regression from the 2015 season.
Pre-surgery, Lynn had never averaged less than eight strikeouts per nine innings. In 2017, however, that number dropped to 7.4. Along with that, Lynn issued an increased number of walks, averaging 3.8 per nine, while allowing 1.3 home runs per game.