Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn allowed a pair of homers in an otherwise decent June 6 start against the Blue Jays, in Toronto, and was apparently convinced afterward that he’d been tipping some of his pitches.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch described how Lynn and the coaching staff noticed and then fixed the issue:
The hitters’ reaction to his breaking ball was telling, and to combat their read on him Lynn changed the positions of his hand. He’d been more consistent from the stretch, so he lowered his hands from the windup, too, and “stopped the up-down motion.” The benefit has been an increased command of his fastball and less wild, untamed movement from his sinker. His curveball has also been more effective.
Last night Lynn tossed eight shutout inning against the Rockies, at Coors Field, and since that June 6 start against the Blue Jays he’s thrown 22 innings with a 0.82 ERA and 20/4 K/BB ratio.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.