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Was Daniel Lynch tipping his pitches?

The lefty was lit up on Saturday, but there may be a good reason why.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals lefty Daniel Lynch did not have a good time in his second career MLB start, failing to get out of the first inning after yielding eight runs to the White Sox on Saturday night. The lefty walked just one but was hit hard for seven hits, including a home run to Danny Mendick.

It was just the eighth time in the last ten years a Royals starter has failed to get out of the first inning, and some of those were due to injuries.

Royals starts, less than one inning since 2011

Date Pitcher Opponent Innings Runs Allowed
Date Pitcher Opponent Innings Runs Allowed
May 16, 2011 Kyle Davies Cleveland 0.1 2
May 13, 2012 Danny Duffy Chicago 0.2 0
June 6, 2012 Felipe Paulino Minneotsa 0.2 1
May 31, 2014 Aaron Brooks Toronto 0.2 7
September 6, 2014 Danny Duffy New York 0.0 0
Septmeber 2, 2017 Onelki Garcia Minnesota 0.1 4
September 4, 2018 Danny Duffy Cleveland 0.2 3
May 8, 2021 Daniel Lynch Chicago 0.2 8

After the game, Mike Matheny seemed a bit perplexed that Lynch could get hit that hard, but did seem to suggest one possibility.

One Royals fan looked at the tape, and did find some evidence that perhaps Lynch was signaling what was coming to White Sox hitters.

Matheny seemed to confirm the same this morning.

Lynch threw 34 pitchers and did get five whiffs, two of them on his slider, so perhaps White Sox hitters didn’t always know what to expect. But they did hit him hard, which is a lot easier to do once you know what’s coming (just ask the Houston Astros!)

If Lynch was tipping his pitches, that may be a bit encouraging that his performance can be corrected rather easily. Let’s hope the lefty can make an adjustment and pitch up to the potential that so many talent evaluators see in him.