On a Saturday morning in late January it was reported that the St. Louis Cardinals had reached an agreement with veteran free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. These initial reports were quickly shot down, and three months later Oswalt remains on the market. Now, even after an injury to ace Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals can look back and smile at their decision to go with in-house candidate Lance Lynn over Oswalt.
Throughout the offseason, the Cardinals were one of the teams most tied to Roy Oswalt. The reason for this was not as much St. Louis’s need for a starting pitcher as it was Oswalt’s desire to pitch close to his Mississippi home.
Besides the day it was reported they had reached an agreement with Oswalt, a deal between the Cardinals and the veteran right-hander always seemed to be on the brink. However, a contract was never signed and the Cardinals decided to stick with their in-house options.
Even Chris Carpenter’s injury didn’t sway the Cardinals to reach out to Oswalt. Instead St. Louis decided to go with youngster Lance Lynn. This move has certainly paid off so far.
Over his first four starts, Lynn is 4-0 and has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 1.33 and 0.815. The right-hander made a majority of his appearances out of the bullpen for the Cardinals last season, but St. Louis was comfortable enough with Lynn to name him as a starter entering the 2012 season.
Between Triple-A and the Cardinals last season, Lynn did only accumulate roughly 110 innings pitched. Reliever-turned-starter Kyle McClellan got off to a hot start last year before tailing off over the summer. The same could happen to Lynn, and maybe at that time Oswalt will become an option for St. Louis. But for now the Cardinals can be happy with their decision to go with Lynn to start the season.
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