On Thursday, Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward named his opening day starter, Lance Lynn. It came to a slight surprise to some, and even to me. The question always came to either Mike Minor or Corey Kluber in getting the opening day role on the bump. However, Lance Lynn always seemed like the dark horse to the 2019 season for Texas. Minor got the primary attention, and the three young pitchers (Allard, Palumbo, and Burke) shared some spotlight.
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) June 25, 2020
Nevertheless, no one can argue against the fact that Lance Lynn had a solid 2019 campaign. It was an excellent bounce-back season after having some struggles with the Twins and Yankees in 2018. 2020 will mark Lance Lynn’s first career opening day start.
The 2019 season became more remarkable considering Lynn’s first Rangers start was a struggle against the Chicago Cubs. Last season, Lance didn’t have a month in which he allowed five or more runs in two separate starts. He also had only one start where he pitched less than four innings (April 23 at Oakland). At the moment, Lance Lynn is working on a streak of twenty-four straight regular-season outings where he’s thrown 100 or more pitches. He had two starts all of last season where he didn’t reach the century mark in the pitch count. “Even when things aren’t great or [Lance] doesn’t feel great, or things aren’t going the way they should go, [Lynn] keeps battling and doesn’t give in. He gives us a chance to win every time he goes out there. That’s what we love about him.” Chris Woodward said last September.
Is Starting Lance Lynn on Opening Day a Good Choice?
It’s difficult to gauge if choosing a pitcher over others is the right decision or not. While Mike Minor was the main focus on the Rangers’ pitching staff and Corey Kluber has the Cy Young honor, Lance Lynn is not a wrong decision by any means. Woodward also mentioned that he was naming Lance the starter for March 26, the previously scheduled 2020 opening day, against the Mariners. One looming question will be if Lance’s opening day start comes at the new Globe Life Field or if the Rangers are traveling to the start the season. If the Rangers do travel, does Lynn get the home opener nod, or will Woodward shift that any of the other four potential starters for the Rangers?
Mike Minor had a fantastic 2019, there's no question about that. But the turnaround after a rocky March/April for Lance Lynn became the story of the 2019 pitching staff.
I'm not at all opposed to Chris Woodward's decision to start Lance on opening day. #Rangers
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 25, 2020
Lance’s 2020 performance looks interesting. It was great to see a veteran have a comeback season and get back to his dominant St. Louis Cardinals days. I feel like there’s a lot to build on, despite the struggling two spring starts for Lynn. If Rangers fans want to call Lance Lynn the ace of the Texas staff, I’m all for it. However, let’s call him what the clubhouse and coaching staff calls him, a workhorse. From my view point, there’s no doubt he’s earned it.
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