JUPITER, Fla. -- Lance Lynn will open the season by facing the Reds twice, beginning with an April 3 start in Cincinnati. The repetition of opponent is of no concern to Lynn, who, with a five-inning start on Tuesday, wrapped up a spring in which he faced the Marlins in four of his five starts.
Add in his Grapefruit League work last season at Roger Dean Stadium, and seven of his last eight spring outings have been against the club that shares the Cardinals' spring complex.
"It does get old. It truly does," Lynn said afterward. "I think I saw the exact same lineup three of the four times I faced them, too. You're seeing the same guys and you don't really want to go after them like you're going to in the regular season. And you're also working on things. So it's kind of tough. But it is what it is. You have to get your pitches in, your pitch count up, and you have to throw guys things that you don't want to throw them, but you have to."
Despite the monotony, Lynn expressed satisfaction with how he progressed this spring. Fastball command came early, and along with it a feel for his cutter and changeup. He liked the movement with his curveball during his side session a few days ago and tested the Marlins with the pitch three times on Tuesday.
He also finished Grapefruit League play having struck out 27 batters in 16 1/3 innings. Eight of those strikeouts came Tuesday.
"It's good," Lynn said. "It's part of my game, so that means my fastball has life and my breaking pitches are where I want. That's what it's all about -- changing eye sights and getting swings and misses. To get strikeout numbers in Spring Training, usually you don't see it that much."
With his work in Florida done, Lynn now prepares for an extended break. Because his next start is nine days away, he anticipates throwing an extended bullpen session (or simulated game) in a few days and then another bullpen session early next week. His ability to stretch out to 91 pitches in Tuesday's game frees Lynn up from having to overexert himself between now and that season debut.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.