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2023 Dodgers in review: Lance Lynn

Lynn went 13-11 while allowing the most home runs in baseball

Oakland Athletics v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Lance Lynn began the 2023 season with the Chicago White Sox and mired in the worst season of his career before being traded to the Dodgers, where his struggles remained.

Lynn was coming off a down season in 2022, where he registered a slightly below league-average ERA+ with his ERA inflating over a run in seven less starts compared to the year prior. Lynn had a strong first outing to begin the 2023 season, allowing just two earned runs in five and 23 innings against the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros.

When the calendar turned to April, Lynn’s ERA would never dip under 5.00 at any point for the rest of the season. All chances of Lynn being a high-caliber arm for the White Sox’s rotation were dashed, as he struggled to an ERA of 8.00 in five starts, posting an 0-4 record while allowing hitters to hit seven home runs with a .298 average.

May began in similar fashion for Lynn, as he allowed eleven runs in 11⅔ innings in his first two starts of the month, allowing an additional three home runs. For a three game stretch, Lynn appeared to have turned his misfortunes around, as he allowed just four earned runs in 19 innings, striking out 18 and allowing just a single home run, winning all three starts.

It was a brief run of proficiency for Lynn on the mound, as he reverted back to his April form in his next start, allowing eight earned runs and three home runs in just four innings against the Los Angeles Angels. June was more of the same for Lynn, as although he had an impressive 16 strikeout performance against Seattle, he posted a 6.28 ERA in 28⅔ innings, allowing seven home runs for the third consecutive month.

After allowing a horrid 13 earned runs in his final 11 innings in the month of July, Lynn was packaged along with reliever Joe Kelly in a deal with the Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Trayce Thompson and two prospects, Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure.

After posting a 6.47 ERA with the White Sox, Lynn was off to a great start in his first four starts with the Dodgers, as he posted a 3-0 record with a stellar 1.50 ERA, striking out 25 hitters and walking just five, although he did allow four home runs. Lynn struggled in his final two starts of August, allowing 10 earned runs on 17 hits in 10⅓ innings, giving up five home runs, walking three and striking out just two hitters.

Lynn continued to underwhelm in the final month of the regular season, posting a 5.34 ERA in final five starts and surrendering seven home runs.

When tasked with starting Game 3 of the NLDS against the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks, Lynn performed well in his first two innings before he and the Dodgers’ season as a whole collapsed in the third inning. Lynn could not escape the third inning, giving up four home runs in the inning, ultimately spelling doom to another disappointing Dodgers’ postseason run.

Among all qualified pitchers, Lynn had the second worst ERA at 5.73 and gave up the most home runs in all of baseball at 44, becoming the first pitcher to allow 40 or more home runs in a single season since Mike Leake in 2019.

2023 particulars

Age: 36

Stats: 7-2, 4.36 ERA, 6.16 FIP 64 IP, 47 K, 22 BB, 16 HR, 100 ERA+ with Dodgers

Salary: $18.5 million, of which the Dodgers paid $6,465,054

Game of the year

Lynn’s best start with the Dodgers and of the 2023 season came on August 11 against the Colorado Rockies. Although he tossed just five innings, Lynn did not allow a single run, allowing just one base hit, walking zero and striking out nine hitters on 94 pitches, securing the win in the process. It was the first of two consecutive scoreless outings for Lynn, which helped lower his ERA on the season ... to 5.60.

Roster status

The free agent Lynn signed a one year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $11 million on November 21, which includes a club option for 2025.