Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has announced, after another poor outing by Lance Lynn Friday in Cincinnati, that the struggling St. Louis pitcher will move to the bullpen and Joe Kelly will return to the starting rotation.
It's the best move for both the current -- and the future editions of the Redbirds -- and it couldn't have come a moment too soon.
Lynn's 13-5 with a 3.93 ERA. But he's been terrible since the All-Star Break. Batters hit .235 against him in the first half of the season and have hit .301 against him since. His ERA was 3.41 in the first half. It's 5.23 in the second half. He allowed 1.23 base runners per inning in the first half and has allowed 1.59 in the second half.
All signs point to the big righty being out of gas. It's not surprising -- and it's ok. He spent half of last season in the bullpen, so he's not used to the rigors of a full major league season. Plus, he was great in the bullpen last year. So it's a win-win: Lynn gets some rest, the St. Louis bullpen gets better and next year Lynn can be prepared to be a starter from spring training.
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It would be a shame to let Lynn, who has seen his velocity dip, was allowed to keep going out there and hurt himself while trying to over-do it.
Meanwhile, Kelly has been great in every role the Cardinals have asked him to fill. He deserves a chance to keep starting with a 3.26 ERA in 14 games. His 4-5 record ought to be about 6-2 but the offense repeatedly let him down while he was in the rotation previously.
And this time in the rotation for Kelly will give the Redbirds a chance to see what sort of role they think Kelly will fill next season. Is he ready to take a permanent spot in the rotation or is his future in the bullpen?
I just can't think of a reason why this move isn't the best think for St. Louis right now.
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