The Chicago White Sox has the luxury of having a stacked deck in their starting rotation. They truly run five men deep. They boast an All-Star in Lucas Giolito, a young stud who ranked seventh in the MLB in strikeouts in Dylan Cease, a flame thrower in Micheal Kopech, and a former Cy Young winner in Dallas Keuchel. But who is the ace?
That distinction belongs to Lance Lynn. Lynn finished third in the American League Cy Young voting in 2021 and was rewarded with a $38 million contract extension midway through the season. The big bulldog from Indiana pitches with a distinct style that is fun to watch.
He attacks hitters with fastballs. Lynn led the major leagues with 88.6 of his pitches being fastballs. The results speak for themselves. Lynn went 11-6 with 2.69 ERA and 176 strikeouts. He also led the White Sox in WAR with a 5.4 mark.
Lynn also served as the emotional leader of the pitching staff. Back in April Lance Lynn issued a challenge to the rest of his teammates. The pitching staff was in a skid where they struggled to go deep into games. The bullpen was taxed so Lynn took matters into his own hands and set the tone by tossing a complete game shutout during the White Sox home opener.
He became the first pitcher in American League history to throw a shutout with 10 plus strikeouts and no walks in a team’s home opener. The White Sox rotation responded by molding into one of the best units in the American League.
The Chicago White Sox continued to rely on Lance Lynn throughout the season.
Later in the year when the White Sox needed someone to stop the bleeding after being swept by the Yankees, Lynn served as the stopgap. He fired seven innings of one-run ball in a not-so-friendly reunion against his former team, the St Louis Cardinals.
When the White Sox took center stage in the baseball world during the Field of Dreams Game, it was Lance Lynn who took the mound. When the White Sox played the Brewers in primetime on ESPN’s nationally televised “Sunday Night Baseball”, Lance Lynn stole the show. He threw six innings, striking out six, and only allowing one run while also driving in two RBIs with a base hit.
During Game 1 of the ALDS, Tony La Russa entrusted Lance Lynn with the assignment. Simply put, he is the White Sox ace. Look for him to toe the rubber for Opening Day next season. It would be nice to see him have another ace-level season as well.