Newly acquired Chicago White Sox pitcher, Lance Lynn, is a bulldog on the mound. Need proof? Just look at his first spring training start last Thursday. Giants manager Dave Kapler, who is notorious for his use of analytics, stacked his lineup with seven left-handed batters. Most pitchers like to ease into spring training. Not Lance Lynn, he was unfazed by the platoon of lefties.
Lance Lynn has the perfect attitude for this Chicago White Sox team.
After the game, he was asked about having to face so many left-handed hitters and he responded simply by saying:
"“I don’t care who is in the box.”"
The first hitter he faced was Tommy La Stella, who only struck out twelve times in 2020. Lynn retired him with a swinging strikeout. He walked Mike Yastremski but overcame it by getting Donovan Solano to pop out. He then ended the inning by embarrassing former All-Star Buster Posey who lost his bat trying to chase after a pitch.
He was put out of his misery two strikes later. He had a clean 1-2-3 inning that was punctuated with a strikeout to end his day. It should be noted that if it was up to Lynn his day would not have been over. He wanted to stay in the game despite it being a meaningless Cactus League game.
If it was up to Lynn, he would lead the Cactus League in innings. He wants the ball in his hand no matter the circumstances and that is why the White Sox value him so much. He explained in his postgame press conference that he throws every day because he is big and it comes easy to him.
White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz is prepared to get in some arguments with the veteran right-hander because he hates to come out of games. That’s okay with the White Sox. Lynn’s attitude on the mound is one of the reasons he led the MLB in innings pitched for 2020 and threw over 200 innings in 2019.
He also finished fifth and sixth in the AL Cy Young voting the previous two seasons. The White Sox see Lynn as the missing piece of their rotation. He is what the White Sox were lacking last season which is a durable starter that can eat up innings and pitch at an elite level. Lynn is equally excited about joining the White Sox.
"“When you get traded to a team that was in the playoffs the year before and are trying to make the next jump to a World Series contender, it’s exciting. And when you think that you’re one of the pieces that can get them there, it puts that pressure on you that you enjoy.”"
His gamer mentality on the mound may sound familiar to White Sox fans. He sounds like a pitcher straight out of the 2005 White Sox rotation. That rotation set a record that will never be broken which is four consecutive complete games in the ALCS. Lynn has the stuff to do that. He has a variety of fastball speeds and is currently developing a new off-speed pitch.
Lynn will be reunited with his old manager Tony La Russa. The pair won a World Series together in 2011, and La Russa leaned heavily on Lynn, who pitched in five of the seven World Series games. La Russa thought highly of Lynn then and his admiration has only grown from afar.
"“You can see, he goes out there and he’s trying to get hitters out” La Russa said earlier in spring training. “He’s an intelligent guy, and he’s learned. Every year he’s more of a pitcher than a thrower. He pitched the eighth inning of Game 7 and that shows you the confidence we had back then. He’s gone on to be one of the outstanding starters in baseball.”"
Simply put, Lynn is the perfect pitcher for the Southside of Chicago. A no-nonsense, tough, and competitive starter who does not care who is in the box.