Lynn lands on disabled list with forearm strain
ST. LOUIS -- Already dealing with the extended absences of their staff ace, setup man and Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, the Cardinals are down another key contributor after placing starter Lance Lynn on the disabled list on Friday with a right forearm strain.
But unlike some of the club's other injuries, this one is not expected to keep Lynn out for more than the 15 days he's required to remain on the DL. With the move made retroactive to Monday, Lynn would be eligible to return to the mound on June 23, when the team opens a three-game series in Miami. Lynn would only miss two starts between now and then.
"We'll make sure we get everything calmed down and make sure it's not something that flares up as the whole year goes on," Lynn said on Friday. "Don't try to push through something and make it worse or make something else flare up."
An MRI on Lynn's pitching shoulder revealed no structural concerns, and general manager John Mozeliak surmised that Lynn could have pitched through the soreness had the Cardinals needed him to. Lynn noted that he has felt the forearm soreness in most of his starts this year, though it worsened in his outing on Sunday when he labored through a 26-pitch first inning and a 29-pitch third.
Though Lynn downplayed the discomfort afterward, the club had him return to St. Louis earlier in the week for further examination. The decision was then made to unplug him from the rotation.
"We just felt like with the tightness he was experiencing, giving him a layoff would help," Mozeliak said. "I think we just have to keep an eye on him. He's a unique pitcher in that he throws a lot of fastballs, likes to change speeds with that and that should help him in the long run."
Starting in Lynn's place on Saturday against the Royals will be lefty Tyler Lyons, who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Friday.
Lynn, who opened the season in the rotation's second spot, has posted a 3.07 ERA over 73 1/3 innings (12 starts) this year. He leads the staff with 77 strikeouts and has walked 23. His only previous DL stint in the Majors came in 2011, when he missed two months due to an oblique strain.
Lynn has been resting and undergoing treatment since his last start and noted instant improvement. He anticipates beginning a light throwing program this weekend and then slowly building back up so he can be ready to start once he is eligible to come off the DL.
The Cardinals, given the status of their other injured players, would welcome such a quick return.
"You look around, a lot of clubs are dealing with injuries, so we're not the only ones," Mozeliak said. "It's unfortunate because you think your club has everything together. You always anticipate some ups and downs, and to lose these types of players is tough, no doubt about it. But I think it shows you the resiliency of this team and how these players approach it. They understand they're good, they're talented and they'll find ways."