On Monday night, Chicago White Sox All-Star pitcher Lance Lynn was named as a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award. Lynn joins Yankee pitcher Gerrit Cole and Toronto Blue Jay pitcher Robbie Ray as the three finalists for the award. The American and National League Cy Young Award winners will be announced on November 17th.
Dominant on the mound.
Lance Lynn has been named an A.L. Cy Young Award finalist! pic.twitter.com/5H1vUFeNGJ
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) November 9, 2021
Lynn Was One Of The Best Pitchers In All of Baseball in 2021
The White Sox acquired Lynn last offseason in a trade with the Texas Rangers that sent young starter Dane Dunning to Texas in return. Chicago acquired an All-Star pitcher who had been one of ten best pitchers in the American League the previous two seasons. This is the first time in which Lynn will be one of the three finalists for the award.
This was Lance Lynn's award to lose through the month of July, but his injury – combined with the way Robbie Ray finished the season – makes it a no-doubter for Ray IMO. https://t.co/b6B2E6Qmxd
— Slavko Bekovic (@SBekovic) November 9, 2021
In his first season with the White Sox, Lynn posted a 2.69 ERA over 28 starts. His ERA could have been lower had he not run into a few minor injuries, including a knee injury that landed him on the 10-day injured list at the beginning of September. Despite only pitching 157 innings, Lynn still struck out 176 batters and recorded a WHIP of 1.070.
Lynn will likely miss out on winning the prestigious award due to his performance in the final two months of the 2021 season. With Chicago’s significant lead in the American League Central for the majority of the second half of the season, the White Sox were extremely cautious with the health of their starting pitchers, as they had their starters skip starts as a precaution. It is an impressive feat for Lynn to be a top-ten starting pitcher for three seasons in a row as he finished sixth and fifth in Cy Young voting in 2019 and 2020.
Lowest ERA by White Sox pitchers in first 9 starts:
Eddie Cicotte 0.82 1919
Eddie Cicotte 0.82 1917
Jim Scott 1.01 1917
Mellie Wolfgang 1.18 1914
Lance Lynn 1.20 2021
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) June 3, 2021
If Lynn wins the Cy Young Award, he will become the first Chicago White Sox pitcher to win the award since Jack McDowell in 1993. Since McDowell, the only Chicago pitcher that has come close to winning the award was Esteban Loaiza in 2003. Loaiza finished second in voting behind Blue Jay’s pitcher Roy Halladay. In a season that featured the first division title for the White Sox in 12 years, a bonus would be Lynn winning the American League Cy Young, which will be determined in less than ten days.