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2014 VEB Community Projections: Lance Lynn

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Dilip Vishwanat

Lance Lynn is a very good, above-average pitcher. In just over 400 innings pitched in his career, he's been worth 6.5 WAR. With 9.12 strikeouts per nine innings, he strikes out a lot of batters for a starting pitcher, who average 7.19 strikeouts per nine as a population. With 3.30 walks per nine innings, he walks an above-average number of batters for a starting pitcher, who average 2.83 walks per nine as a population.

He has a very pronounced split, with lefties hitting to the tune of a 4.79 xFIP and him holding righties to a 2.62 xFIP. Against lefties, he strikes out 7.98 per nine and walks 5.54 per nine. Against righties, he strikes out 9.98 per nine and walks 1.61 per nine. Our very own stlfan had a good series of fanposts, profiling Lance Lynn (Part 1, Part 2). He comes up with these five conclusions to aid Lance Lynn's lefty struggles:

5) Throw more strikes on the first pitch against lefties

4) Throw more cutters to lefties

3) Throw the sinker less than 15% of the time against lefties

2) Throw the curve over 20% of the time against lefties

1) Be more consistent with fastball location against lefties

Ultimately, by WAR, Lance Lynn was one of the 32 best starting pitchers in the league last year. He certainly has flaws–he may even have flaws that are more aesthetically infuriating that other flaws – but he is a really effective starting pitcher, who would make the Cardinals a worse team if he were moved to the bullpen, as some in Cardinals nation want to do.

What does he do in 2014? Does he take a step forward into being a top-25 or top-20 pitcher? Will he regress, with teams stacking lefties against him?

Stats via Fangraphs

Season

Team

Age

W

L

G

GS

IP

K/9

BB/9

BABIP

ERA

2011

Cardinals

24

1

1

18

2

34.2

10.38

2.86

0.272

3.12

2012

Cardinals

25

18

7

35

29

176

9.2

3.27

0.321

3.78

2013

Cardinals

26

15

10

33

33

201.2

8.84

3.39

0.314

3.97

Total

- - -


34

18

86

64

412.1

9.12

3.3

0.314

3.82