JUPITER, FL - MARCH 14: Lance Lynn #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a game against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Stadium on March 14, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Cardinals' rotation looks more stable than ever after Lance Lynn's strong start.
Lance Lynn, whose surprise emergence in last year's bullpen left many convinced the St. Louis Cardinals would leave him in relief full time, looked strong in his first appearance as the official sixth starter Wednesday, striking out three Houston Astros in three scoreless innings. The 40 pitches—his most in an appearance since his first outing in long relief, back in June—seemed to do him no harm, as Derrick Goold report:
Lynn throws three scoreless, hits 96 mph with 37th pitch, drops to 86 with next pitch. Nine of final 10 pitches were strikes. #stlcards— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) March 14, 2012
Lynn's newfound velocity was exactly what had him shuffling toward the bullpen in the first place; if he can maintain it over five or six innings he'll be hard to keep out of the rotation in 2013, when Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse's contracts run out.
Of course, for all this talk about Lynn, Chris Carpenter's health looks better than it has for some time.
More SB Nation St. Louis analysis regarding the Cardinals' rotation questions:
- Lance Lynn profiles well against the rest of the Cardinals' rotation depth.
- Chris Carpenter's neck is still a going concern.