White Sox starter Lance Lynn left his final Spring Training start with what the team announced as right knee discomfort. During the fourth inning, Lynn looked to be in obvious pain after throwing a pitch, gingerly moving with a slight limp as he walked back to the dugout.
More will be known about Lynn’s status after he receives treatment and testing, though the issue could very well be related to the right knee injury that sidelined Lynn late last season. Lynn only spent the 10-day minimum on the injured list, but White Sox GM Rick Hahn said in November that Lynn underwent 3-4 weeks of rehab on his right knee once the season was over.
At first glance, it certainly looks as though Lynn’s readiness for the Opening Day roster could be in jeopardy. Losing Lynn for any amount of time would be a notable blow to Chicago’s rotation, particularly since the pitching staff as a whole already lost Garrett Crochet (to Tommy John surgery) and Craig Kimbrel (in a trade to the Dodgers) within the last 48 hours.
Swingmen Reynaldo Lopez and Vince Velasquez were involved in the bullpen picture, though at least one of the two hurlers will likely step into the rotation if Lynn’s injury requires an IL trip. Velasquez was signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in March to provide some added pitching depth, though surely the White Sox weren’t planning on having to utilize this depth quite so soon.
Lynn has finished in the top six of AL Cy Young voting in each of the past three seasons, and his third-place finish in 2021 was his highest placement yet. The right-hander’s first year in Chicago saw him post a 2.69 ERA, 27.5% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate over 157 innings. 2021 was the last season of the three-year, $30MM deal Lynn signed with the Rangers during the 2018-19 offseason, but the White Sox moved to sign Lynn to a contract extension last July. Lynn is now set to receive $38MM in guaranteed money in 2022-23, and the Sox hold an $18MM club option his services for 2024.