SURPRISE, Ariz. - Lance Lynn is ready if needed, but he says he’s not particularly concerned about who starts on opening day for the Chicago White Sox.
"When you have multiple guys who have the ability to do that it’s awesome," Lynn said Wednesday. "We have a deep staff so whoever he picks is going to be ready for it."
Manager Tony La Russa hasn’t decided — or at least hasn’t announced — if Lynn or Lucas Giolito will get the ball when the White Sox face Detroit on April 8.
Lynn, coming off a season in which he finished third in the American League Cy Young voting with a 2.69 ERA, is likely to go first or second for Chicago.
He had mixed results Wednesday in his spring debut against the Texas Rangers. He faced 13 batters, striking out four and walking none. He gave up five hits, three of them solo homers — one by Corey Seager and two by Mitch Garver, Lynn’s one-time battery mate with the Minnesota Twins.
"There was no game plan today. It was just, go out there and get pitches in," Lynn said after his 2 2/3-inning outing. "Stuff was there for the most part so I can’t complain."
With only two more starts in the spring before his regular season debut, Lynn was evaluating all of his pitches.
"Throw it all and see where it’s at, and then next time you try and work on whatever wasn’t working today," he said.
"The sinker wasn’t there early. I gave up some hits. As the game went on the sinker was there and the changeup came along too. All in all, it wasn’t a terrible day."
Lynn was an All-Star last season, going 9-3 with a 1.99 ERA in the first half. He was still effective in the second half but was increasingly bothered by a sore right knee and had a 3.66 ERA after the break. In the playoffs, Lynn was knocked out in the fourth inning of the opener of the AL division series against Houston, giving up five earned runs.
He rested the knee in the offseason and said it didn’t hinder his workouts once he resumed.
When asked how the knee was after Wednesday’s outing, Lynn said, "Still attached."
The White Sox and Giolito appear headed to an arbitration hearing after the two sides could not come to an agreement Wednesday.
After Giolito expressed disappointment on social media, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn addressed reporters during the game.
"This is not a reflection, in our opinion, of anything to do specifically," with Giolito, Hahn said.
"This is a function of the arbitration process. I think our track record of winding up in two hearings over the last 20 years shows that obviously we’re motivated to get something done with any of our players and avoid a hearing. As for perception that this could potentially cause a longer-term issue between us and Lucas, I don’t view that as the case. We have, as I said, a long and successful history with Lucas and a deep relationship with him."
The two sides are reportedly $200,000 apart, with the pitcher seeking $7.5 million and the team offering $7.3 million for 2022. Giolito is the only unsigned player on the 40-man roster after the White Sox came to terms on one-year deals with 23 other players, including outfielder Adam Engel ($2 million) and pitcher Reynaldo Lopez ($2.65 million). Giolito is not eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season.
Hahn said the White Sox have only gone to arbitration with two players, Avisail Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez, in the last 25 years.