The Royals will open their Cactus League schedule on Friday against the Rangers, and they announced left-hander Daniel Lynch will get the ball to start. Jose Cuas and Josh Staumont are also expected to get some work in.
#Royals LHP Daniel Lynch will start the Cactus League opener on Friday against the Rangers. Jose Cuas, Josh Staumont likely to get work in that day, too.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) February 22, 2023
RHP Mike Mayers (non-roster) will start Saturday against the Rangers.
This is a pretty pivotal season for Lynch, who has shown flashes of brilliance, but has been plagued by inconsistency. The 26-year-old has a 5.32 ERA in 42 big league starts so far, but did improve his strikeout and walk rates last year. He could benefit greatly from the addition of new pitching coaches Brian Sweeney and Zach Bove if they are able to get him better prepared of his starts - Lynch has had a 7.99 ERA in the first inning of his starts, the second-worst mark in baseball over that time.
Lynch told Anne Rogers at MLB.com that has focused on minor corrections with his mechanics this off-season.
“My external hip rotation is really good, but I wasn’t necessarily getting into it,” Lynch said. “I was getting quad dominant rather than hinging. That’s just essentially storing up energy. And then being long-limbed, my arm would be a little bit late at top speed.
“I came into the offseason saying, ‘The thing I need to do is execute pitches better. My stuff is good enough.’ So allowing my lower half to work so that my arm can be on time was a major point of emphasis. I can feel when they’re connected.”
Lynch has a leg up on a rotation spot, although the only three guaranteed spots at this point seem to be for Brady Singer, Zack Greinke, and Jordan Lyles. Other rotation candidates include Kris Bubic, Brad Keller, Jonathan Heasley, and Ryan Yarbrough.
The Royals will face off against the Rangers at 2:10 CT on Friday, February 24. You can listen to the game on 610 Sports in Kansas City.