When the Dodgers made the decision to acquire Lance Lynn, the rotation was depleted, struggling all year to find games where a starter went seven innings. While statistics have indicated that Lynn is a well-below league average pitcher this season, the Dodgers have the ability to rejuvenate his career through focusing on making his four-seam fastball his primary pitch to opposing hitters.
Even after securing his first win as a Dodger, Lynn’s numbers are nowhere close to resembling a pitcher that can headline the rotation. Lynn carries a record of 7-9, an ERA of 6.32, a FIP of 5.32, a WHIP of 1.43 and an ERA+ of just 69 in 22 starts between Chicago and Los Angeles. In those 22 starts, Lynn has also allowed the most earned runs and the most home runs in baseball this season.
Although the average statistics and most advanced analytics show a pitcher in the midst of a career on the decline, the Dodgers have emphasized a heavier reliance on his four-seam fastball, a pitch that ranks within the 89th percentile in spin rate. Tuesday’s start against the Oakland Athletics was the first time that Lynn used his four-seamer at over a 60 percent usage rate since his brief stint with the New York Yankees in the 2018 season and the first time in a start since his days with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2015 season.
Michael Baumann of FanGraphs.com writes increased use of Lynn’s four-seam fastball in his first start as a Dodger and what the 36-year-old has done to deceive hitters with his pitch repertoire in the start:
“Lynn’s four-seamer isn’t an out pitch in and of itself; nobody’s four-seamer is, really. What made it work was Lynn’s ability to contrast it with his other fastballs in order to fool hitters, and on Tuesday night he barely threw his other fastballs at all.”
- The Dodgers delighted their fans by bringing back reliever Joe Kelly from the White Sox, who pitched with the Dodgers from 2019-21, helping win the World Series in 2020. Mike DiGiovanna writes about how Kelly has never felt any resentment over a team parting ways with him:
“I’ve never had hard feelings when I’ve been traded or signed elsewhere. I understand that more than anybody. If you watch ‘Star Wars,’ I’m more Darth Vader than the good side.”
- R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports lists five under-the-radar deadline additions who can make an impact down the stretch for their new teams, placing the deal for newest Dodger left-hander Ryan Yarbrough at number four on the list.
- Miguel Rojas finally connected on his first home run of the 2023 season during Wednesday’s blowout win over the Oakland Athletics and just the second while wearing a Dodgers uniform in his career. Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes on Rojas’ reaction to hitting his first Dodger home run in nine years and how he feels about his offensive production this season.
- C. Trent Rosecrans and Cody Stavenhagen update their predictions for who will win their respective division titles, placing the Dodgers as the new favorites to win the National League West for their tenth time in the past 11 seasons.