Lynn’s 2018 season has not gone anywhere near the way he may have envisioned when he hit the free-agent market for the first time last fall, ending a six-year run with the Cardinals.
Instead of landing a lucrative, multi-year deal, he went unsigned until late in spring training, when he agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract with the Minnesota Twins — approximately $5.4 million less than he would have earned under the Cardinals’ one-year qualifying offer he turned down last November.
After an abbreviated spring camp, Lynn got off to an abysmal start. He went 0-3 in his first five outings, posting an 8.37 ERA in those contests but finally got into a groove when the calendar flipped to May. He went 5-2 with a 2.88 ERA over his next nine turns.
Lynn, who is 5-7 with a 5.49 ERA for the season, continues his hit-or-miss season Friday after losing his last two starts. He is fresh off his worst outing of the season when he allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks, failing to get out of the second inning in an 11-10 loss at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
Cubs pitcher Jon Lester homered off Lynn during a disastrous second inning that also included Lynn failing to cover first on a routine grounder, which kept the inning going long enough for the Cubs to take a big lead.
“We gave them an extra out,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Lynn’s gaffe. “I think that was the biggest thing that stuck out to me. An offense like that, outs when you don’t get them, that was problematic to me. The arithmetic says that was an extra five runs because of that particular play.”
Lynn is 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA in three games (two starts) versus Baltimore.
The Twins snapped a six-game losing streak in the series opener Thursday night and, in turn, extended the misery for the Orioles, who have lost three in a row and 10 of their last 11.
The Orioles turn to Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) to snap the skid. Baltimore plans to activate the right-hander from the disabled list Friday and get him back on the mound for the first time since suffering a sprained left ankle on June 23.
He went 3-7 with a 4.46 ERA through his first 12 starts of the season but got hot in June, posting a 1.98 ERA while going 3-0 in four starts before suffering the injury while running the bases after collecting his first big league hit.
His return comes as the Orioles need to decide a course of action ahead of the trade deadline. At 24-62, Baltimore owns the worst record in baseball and will almost certainly be a seller as the deadline approaches.
The 25-year-old Bundy is in his third full big league season and still has three more years of team control, making him an intriguing candidate for a motivated buyer.
The Twins’ Logan Morrison has two home runs in 15 at-bats versus Bundy, who is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA in four career games (three starts) versus Minnesota. Bundy faced the Twins in his first start of this season, giving up five hits over seven shutout innings in Baltimore’s 3-2 victory on March 29.