GLENDALE, Ariz. — Here is newly acquired right-hander Lance Lynn’s plan for 2021. He says it’s the same as always.
“Get ready to throw 100 pitches Day 1, be able to throw 200 innings, strike out 200 hitters and be there every five days,” Lynn said.
The Sox traded one of their top pitching prospects, Dane Dunning, to acquire Lynn in a deal with the Rangers after Lynn posted a 3.32 ERA and finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting, one place behind Dallas Keuchel and one in front of Lucas Giolito. In two seasons with the Rangers, Lynn finished in the top six in Cy Young voting and had a 3.57 ERA, the same as his career mark.
Manager Tony La Russa praised Lynn, 33, for talking with three young pitchers between drills on the field Saturday. Lynn, who pitched on La Russa’s 2011 World -Series champion Cardinals, says he’s simply all about winning.
Having him to round out a trio with Giolito and Keuchel at the top of the rotation is a reason the Sox are aiming high.
“You said it, and everyone is saying it,” Lynn said. “We’re here to win a World -Series. Sometimes you actually have a chance, and sometimes you don’t. This year we feel like we really have a chance, so we have to do what we have to do to capitalize on that.”
Crochet good to go
When last seen, 100-102 mph fireballing rookie left-hander Garrett Crochet was exiting Game 3 of the wild-card series with a tight forearm. For his first spring training, Crochet showed up 15 pounds heavier, most of it muscle, and is at full strength.
He took a month off after the season, built up slowly and said his arm felt better as his throwing progressed. He also ramped up his weight-lifting routine.
Crochet was so dominant in five scoreless relief appearances in the regular season after he was drafted 11th overall in June that the Sox pegged him for a big role in that decisive game. He pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning before leaving.
“It was awesome to just kind of have that in my back pocket, knowing that I’ve been there just for when the future comes,” he said. “Maybe the nerves won’t hit me as hard [next time].”
About Game 2, Dallas
Keuchel is still smarting after not following Giolito’s gem in Game 1 of that series and putting away the Athletics in Game 2. He allowed five runs (three earned) and six hits in 3⅓ innings of a 5-3 loss.
“So I take a lot of blame going into Game 3 because of the unknown of a lot of our guys not having playoff experience [pitching in Game 3],” said Keuchel, who owns a career 3.71 ERA in nine postseason games.
“That left a sour taste in my mouth, but that’s something that I used for this offseason, just to get back to it and thinking about a bigger picture this year now, especially with some of the added talent that we got.”
7 games sold out quickly
Tickets went on sale for the 14 home Cactus League games at Camelback Ranch on Saturday, and seven sold out the 2,400 capacity (because of coronavirus restrictions). Tickets (in the hundreds) remain for March 2, 5, 9, 18, 22, 24 and 25.
The last word
La Russa, 76, had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
“That goes with being a senior citizen; you’ve got to take advantage,” he said.