Mariners will limit Michael Pineda to three more starts

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Earlier today Matthew Pouliot examined Michael Pineda’s chances of winning Rookie of the Year, but the Mariners just announced that he’ll have only three more starts in which to build his case.

Pitching coach Carl Willis told 950-KJR in Seattle that Pineda is scheduled to start on September 3, September 10, and September 21.

For much of the season there’s been speculation about how the Mariners planned to limit the 22-year-old right-hander’s workload and three more starts would give him a total of 28 starts and around 170 innings for the season. Pineda’s previous career-high was 139 innings last year in the minors, so that would represent an increase of about 20 percent.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.