St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn is completely recovered from Tommy John surgery and is ready to assume his spot in the rotation.
Until this spring training, Lynn hadn’t pitched for St. Louis since the end of the 2015 season. He had elbow ligament replacement surgery shortly after that.
“I feel good. It’s been my normal throwing program since right before Christmastime,” Lynn said. “I’m just moving forward and getting ready for the season.”
The 29-year-old Lynn is 61-39 with a 3.37 ERA in his career and said he has no intentions of changing his style or his passion for throwing fastballs.
“If you look at the success I’ve had, why change, right?” Lynn asked. “I’m going to be who I am, whether you like it or not. I would like to win the World Series. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Lynn started at least 29 games each season from 2012 and 2015, twice exceeding the 200-inning mark. He recorded at least 180 strikeouts the first three of those seasons and was an All-Star in 2012.
He describes his recovery process as “long and boring.” Over three minor league rehab appearances last August, he threw 6 2/3 innings – and he saw value in those outings.
“When you have a normal offseason you don’t have to rehab in the offseason – that’s always a good thing to have,” Lynn said.
His recovery gained added importance earlier this month with the news that Alex Reyes, who expected to compete for a starting spot, would miss the season and needed Tommy John surgery. That leaves Wainwright and Carlos Martinez at the top of the rotation, with Lynn, Michael Wacha and Mike Leake filling out the final three starting spots.
A good year for Lynn also would help him financially.
Lynn is entering the final season of a three-year, $22-million contract that will pay him $7.5 million in 2017. He said there’s no reason to worry about not having a contract beyond this year.
“I’m a Cardinal. I’ve been a Cardinal and that’s how it’s going to be when the season ends,” Lynn said. “Then, I’ll figure out where I’m going to go after that.
“Obviously, Mo [General Manager John Mozeliak] wants to make sure I can pitch before he talks to me about anything. I’ll show him I can pitch and I’ll show him I’m back to being who I am. We’ll go from there. I’m going to try to be even better.”