Lynn’s Ankle and Expectations

Make no mistake about it, Lance Lynn would have liked to have started a game in the National League Divisional Series. But the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander remained a good teammate as he explained the situation Tuesday morning on CBS Sports 920am with The Morning After.

“To go through the whole year and go out there and try to give my team a chance to win every time I take the mound and not get a opportunity to do that in the playoffs was frustrating, but when you look at John Lackey’s pedigree and what he’s done in the playoffs, you understand as a baseball player and a fan, you know what he’s capable of in the playoffs and what he’s done in the past,” said Lynn. “I was willing to do anything that I could to help the team win and unfortunately, I didn’t get my chance. That’s just part of it sometimes.”

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis CardinalsAfter two back-to-back seasons of pitching over 200 innings, Lynn hurled 175.1 in 2015. He injured his ankle on August 29th at San Francisco, and despite wanting to make his next start on schedule was given a couple of extra days. In the six outings following the ankle, Lynn made it to the 6th inning only twice and two of the starts did not go past the 4th inning.

While clearly not using the ankle as an excuse, Lance did acknowledge that it played a factor in his performance.

“Whenever as a pitcher or hitter when you lose your legs, it’s hard–you start relying on things that you shouldn’t,” said Lynn. “It lasted a little longer than I would’ve liked. But you’ve got to get through those things. You’re going to have those injuries, those nagging things that come up throughout a year and you’ve got to learn to get through them. It took me a little bit longer than I would’ve liked to learn how to deal with it.”

“When it all comes down to it–it’s if you get the job done or not,” added Lynn. “I wasn’t getting the job done and that’s all that matters. When you go out there–and I thought I could go out there and pitch the way I was capable of, and I didn’t get that done so that’s on me. If I can throw, I can pitch, and if I can pitch then I need to get people out and help our team out and I should be able to do that even with a little ankle injury or whatever little nagging-type thing comes up. That’s just part of competing every day, day-in and day-out. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. For a stretch there, it didn’t go my way and it definitely wasn’t fun, that’s for sure.”

The topic of working on his secondary pitches did not come up in the interview, but it was a topic that Mike Matheny addressed in his parting conversation with Lynn after the season.

“We’re going to continue to challenge him too,” said Matheny at his recent media session. “Challenge him to continue to improve and that means maybe more versatile in use of his secondary pitches and a full off-season, once again, of getting in the kind of shape that he needs to get to pitch and make the starts. He’s also one of those younger guys–he hasn’t been around as long as a lot of people think. He’s still learning and growing and I see an opportunity for him to use this offseason to kind of use some of these tough conversations to spur him on to what he wants to be. He’ll have the motivation to do that.”

Lynn was driving down the Florida turnpike during the phone interview, headed to let his body heal and recuperate from the season before preparing to build up in anticipation of 2016.

photo credit:  Jasen Vinlove, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


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