Lynn has been throwing the equivalent of two bullpen sessions per week while awaiting the start of the MLB season, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Lynn, who was poised to be the Rangers' Opening Day starter, is home in Nashville (Tenn.) throwing in a tunnel he built for himself or into a net in his driveway. Once the league and the players' union agree to a re-opening, the loose plan for Texas' starters is to get three starts apiece in a mini-spring training, going from three innings the first day, then building up to 80-85 pitches by the third outing. Typically, starters are up to 90-to-100 pitches by the end of a normal spring training, so expect shorter outings initially.
Lynn allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out four over four innings in Wednesday's spring game against the Rockies. Lynn ceded runs in three of the four innings during his second spring start. The goal this time out was to work on his curveball and changeup, notes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Lynn threw his fastball 71.8 percent of the time last season, the third-highest usage among pitchers with a minimum of 1,000 pitches thrown. It makes sense that he wants to mix in more offspeed stuff and lower his predictability. "We talked about it all offseason, mixing in more curveballs and changeups," Lynn said. "Today I threw some good ones. Got to keep going. If I can mix in my curve and changeup to get some easier outs, that's the plan. Once I get going and do what I do, if I can have them as weapons, it's going to be good." The right-hander sports an 8.10 ERA over two spring starts with at least another three starts remaining to get his innings and pitch count up.
Lynn allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three over 2.2 innings in Friday's game against the Angels. The Angels did all of their scoring damage in the first inning off Lynn, who labored through 30 pitches and was clearly frustrated by that. "I'm not gonna lie, my fastball command wasn't where I would have liked," Lynn told Sam Blum of the Dallas Morning News. The positive news is that Lynn was able to find a groove following the first. The Rangers were hoping to get three innings out of the right-hander, but he hit his targeted pitch count and was removed during the middle of the third inning. Lynn will try to throw 65 pitches when he makes his next start.
Lynn will make his spring debut Friday against the Angels, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The Rangers will begin incorporating their starters this weekend, when Lynn is expected to work three innings or about 45-50 pitches. He will be followed by Mike Minor, who will throw a simulated game Saturday, and then Corey Kluber on Sunday. Manager Chris Woodward told Dave Sessions of MLB.com that he expects those three, in some order, to start the first three games of the season at Seattle.
Lynn (16-11) allowed one run on two hits and a walk over 7.1 innings Sunday, striking out 10 as he picked up his 16th win of the season in the finale against the Yankees Sunday. Lynn was locked in for the most part as his only mistake was a solo shot given up to Aaron Judge in the third inning. The right-hander recorded double-digit strikeouts for the second consecutive outing and had the most wins in a season since 2012 when he had 18 with St. Louis. Lynn had a great bounceback season in 2019 after posting career-lows in wins and career-highs in ERA and WHIP a season ago. The 32-year-old figures to be a key part of the Rangers' rotation next summer as he and Mike Minor make a great dynamic duo.
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