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Lance Lynn Strong In First Rotation Audition For St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals' rotation looks more stable than ever after Lance Lynn's strong start.

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)
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)
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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'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: