4 Royals on Thin Ice Entering Spring Training

Jordan Lyles posted a 6.28 ERA in 31 starts in 2023
Jordan Lyles posted a 6.28 ERA in 31 starts in 2023 / Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Daniel Lynch IV - SP

One of the starting pitchers that could theoretically take over Lyles' role is Daniel Lynch, who has shown exciting ability but a limited consistency while battling injuries during his Royals tenure.

Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 Rule 5 draft, Lynch was impressive in the minors and made his Royals debut in 2021 to mixed results. He has a career 5.18 era, though his 2.79 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) implies he's been a bit unlucky thus far.

We saw evidence of that in nine 2023 starts with a 4.64 ERA as he reduced his walk rate, though injuries have made it difficult to give a true evaluation. He still slots as a starter long-term, and it's possible the Royals even experiment with a six-man rotation at times to keep guys fresh.

Now more than a year removed from tearing his rotator cuff, this could be Lynch's best chance to stay part of the Royals' plans.

His strikeout rate in 2023 was the lowest of his career. That'll need to be corrected of course, but if he can induce swings-and-misses while keeping his walk rate and hard-hit rate down, there's room on the rotation for the 6'6" lefty.

Otherwise, Kansas City may be forced to send him back to the minors in hopes of finding that command.

Our final player is one I'm encouraged about, though limited space on the roster puts him on thin ice.