Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a dire need to add at least one starting pitcher prior to the MLB trade deadline on August 1, and focused on the top of the market but also targeted Lance Lynn early and swung a deal for the right-hander.
Lynn was one of the worst pitchers in baseball prior to the trade, posting a 6.47 ERA in 21 starts on a dysfunctional Chicago White Sox club. Although the 36-year-old wasn’t an obvious upgrade for the Dodgers, they liked some of the underlying metrics and believed getting him out of Chicago and making some pitch sequencing changes would be beneficial.
The 12-year veteran has now made two starts for the Dodgers with highly encouraging early results, pitching to a 2.77 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. Lynn was bit by the home run ball a bit in his first outing, continuing a season-long trend, but overall, the veteran has been enjoying his time with the Dodgers, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“They’ve been fun,” Lynn said of his first two Dodger starts. “Offense has given me runs early. Defense has been good behind me. Thrown to both catchers now and they’ve been awesome. So just trying to make pitches, make sure I don’t put up a big inning, and go from there. It’s been good.”
Lynn was hopeful a change of scenery would help him rebound, and working with Mark Prior and the rest of the Dodgers pitching coaches seems to be working for him.
“I’ve had some ups and downs this year, for sure,” Lynn acknowledged after the trade. “When you look at ERA, wins and losses, it’s the worst I’ve ever had in my career. And then you look at strikeouts per nine and stuff like that, they’re the best I’ve ever had.
“Like I said, it’s been a weird year. Hopefully we can make sure the ERA and wins take care of themselves, and we keep the other things going in a positive direction. Maybe a change of scenery will help that.”
In addition to the statistical side of his performances, getting back into a playoff race may have helped him rebound mentally, and he said he was ready for the challenge of helping the Dodgers win.
“Like I said when I left Chicago, unfortunately we didn’t play the way that we wanted to,” Lynn said. “To have a chance to salvage the season personally, coming here and see what I can do, see if I can help this team as much as possible, that’s the plan.”
Dave Roberts expressed confidence in Lance Lynn
Manager Dave Roberts also expressed confidence Lynn would rebound, and perhaps the most important factor is the Dodgers have a starting pitcher who consistently pitches deep into games, which well help take some of the workload off the bullpen.
“I think a little bit, he’s a guy that takes the baseball, he goes deep into games, and victim of sort of the circumstance,” Roberts recently said. “I just feel that getting in this environment, playing meaningful games will bring out the best in him.”
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