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Getting to Know Lance Lynn — a Man of Few Words and Fewer Pitches

Posted by Brandon Warne , 15 May 2018 · 447 views

lance lynn minnesota twins
This is an excerpt from a piece on Zone Coverage which originates here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing to the site to support our work.

Lance Lynn likes his fastball.

He likes it a lot.

Lynn is in the midst of his seventh MLB season, and he’s never thrown it less than 70.4 percent of the time. In fact, in his final two years with the St. Louis Cardinals — a team he’s slated to face at Target Field on Wednesday afternoon — that usage rocketed over 80 percent.

Those two years were 2015 and 2017, and you can be forgiven if you wonder where 2016 went.

But like most pitchers of this current era predicated on velocity and strikeouts, Lynn missed that year with Tommy John surgery. Yes, even a pitcher who throws mostly fastballs can fall prey to the surgery that is now as foolproof as ever, a procedure was considered an MLB widowmaker just a little over 40 years ago.

Some pitchers use that time off to reflect. Some use it to plan how they’ll alter their repertoire to avoid a recurrence of the issue.

Not Lynn.

“Nah,” Lynn said about if he ever thought about changing things up post-TJ. “I mean, I usually just go with what I have that day. I’ve never really thought about changing or trying to do something different.”

He answered the question almost before it was finished, and with the same conviction he answered every previous and subsequent question.

Lynn can be hard to read. It didn’t come up, but he’s probably good at poker. For a newcomer, it’s hard to tell if he’s amused or annoyed by the line of questions.

That’s part of the charm of Lynn, who turned 31 while the Twins were on the road. At any given time, his smile might be one of warmth or one of incredulity.

But you really can’t be sure which.

While people lamented the awful weather of the early season, Lynn merely shrugged it off prior to Monday’s makeup game against the Seattle Mariners. He was actually slated to start that game — April 8, a Sunday — before a mix of snow and slush began what was an early-season flurry of days off and on with little degree of consistency between the two.

“No,” Lynn said when asked if he was worried he was over his head weather-wise in early April. “It’s Minnesota. You know it’s supposed to be cold. It was probably the worst it’s ever been, I think they were saying, at that time of year. But you weren’t expecting 80 and sunshine in April. If you were, you’ve got problems.”