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Lance Lynn, Starting Pitcher: Why Cheap And Pretty-Effective Might Beat Effective For Cardinals

At prospect-blog Future Redbirds there's a nice summary of the benefits that come with the St. Louis Cardinals selecting Lance Lynn as Chris Carpenter's possible early-season replacement. My favorite one is this: It means that Lance Lynn might not always be a reliever.

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Don't get me wrong: Lance Lynn was a great reliever, at least last year—40 strikeouts in 34.2 innings will work just fine for me, and his bullpen demeanor, the way he went after hitters with his mid-90s fastball, was just about perfect. I don't think he'd keep up that pace full-time, but he was great enough then to suggest he'd be good later.

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But a good reliever isn't worth nearly as much as a pretty-good starter, and Lynn's Memphis numbers (and his repertoire) suggest he could do that, too. If the Cardinals have enough players like Lynn around, able to compete for a rotation spot every year on the cheap, they won't have to pay Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook-types to put up Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook-type numbers. That's a major payroll advantage.

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