MAY 3: Lynch’s promotion is official, Rogers tweets. To make room for him, the Royals optioned righty Jake Newberry and moved lefty Daniel Tillo (elbow surgery) to the 60-day injured list.
MAY 2, 7:58PM: Jakob Junis will be moved from the rotation to the bullpen to make room for Lynch, GM Dayton Moore told MLB.com’s Anne Rogers and other reporters. Junis has a solid 3.47 ERA/3.35 SIERA and 28.7% strikeout rate over 23 1/3 innings this season, but Moore feels Junis can help strength a relief corps thinned by injuries.
6:00PM: The Royals announced that top pitching prospect Daniel Lynch will be called up on Monday. Lynch will make his MLB debut as the starting pitcher in tomorrow’s game against the Indians. K.C. has a full 40-man roster, so at least one corresponding move will have to be made to create room for Lynch on both the 40-man and the 26-man active roster.
The 34th overall pick of the 2018 draft, the left-handed Lynch has emerged as one of the more intriguing minor league arms in all of baseball, let alone in Kansas City’s farm system. Lynch is a consensus pick as a top-100 prospect, albeit within a fairly large range of projections — Keith Law (17th), MLB Pipeline (24th), Baseball America (25th) all have Lynch very high on their boards, while Fangraphs (61st) and Baseball Prospectus (70th) aren’t quite as optimistic.
Fangraphs’ scouting report still pegs Lynch as “a very safe mid-rotation sort” based on his fastball alone, which has increased in velocity during his short pro career. Lynch has hit the 99mph-threshold and regularly throws his fastball in the 95-97mph range. His slider is another plus pitch, and his changeup is also turning into a plus offering. “He’ll have to keep working on repeating his delivery to boost his command and control, but this is elite stuff from the left side,” Law writes.
The 24-year-old Lynch has a 2.74 ERA and 26.2% strikeout rate over 147 2/3 innings in the minors, but he’ll be making the jump to the Show without any Double-A or Triple-A experience. He was originally set to begin the 2021 season at Triple-A, but clearly the Royals are impressed by what they’ve seen from Lynch at Spring Training and at their alternate training site.
Should Lynch remain with the Royals for the rest of the season, enough time has passed on the calendar that the team will control his rights for an extra seventh year, so Lynch would be controlled through the 2027 season. However, it remains to be seen if Lynch is just getting a cup of coffee in the big leagues, perhaps as a fill-in for Brady Singer. During Friday’s game, Singer’s start was cut short after two innings after he took a hard comebacker off his left heel to conclude the second frame. X-rays were negative on Singer’s heel and he was expected to make his next scheduled start, though the Royals might be either considering a 10-day IL stint just to be cautious, or perhaps Singer could just be held back a day or two.
Looking forward to seeing the quartet from the ’18 draft in the same rotation. Bubic who put up decent #’s in 10 starts last year is the youngest of the bunch. He wasn’t expected to be called up until ’22. Singer, Lynch, and Kowar were all expected to be called up this year.
I know right? It’s another example of Kansas City’s manipulation of service time by putting guys on the 40 man a year or 2 before they have to. Starting that clock early. The player has no say in the matter. What’s next? Bobby Witt Jr forced to the majors when he’d rather play in Arkansas?
Royals are taking advantage of opportunity to compete. This is something many teams would be reluctant to do.
One thing I would love to see is a quicker transition from players being drafted to reaching the majors. It’s hard to get excited about a draft when you don’t see most players for a minimum of two years after they sign.
Dayton Moore is a class act
downsr30: I agree & disagree w your view. Yes, I’d like to see the players up when they’re ready. KC’s big 4 fr ’18 were all college draftees, w Bubic being picked last @ #40 overall. Last year would’ve been their 2nd full season. 1 or 2 might’ve been called up for a Sept call up if it was a regular season. There’s a big difference between college baseball and the minors and there’s a bigger difference between the minors and the majors. It does take time but for the college draftees I believe they should be knocking on the door during the end of their 2nd full season in the minors.
With less minor league teams – you’ll start seeing these guys earlier. It’s good for the league as well to have more young stars. MLB is trending away from the traditional minor league setting.
real question, what on earth happened to Keller? he’s been terrible so far.
I’m going to take a guess and say that they move Keller to the bullpen so he can figure out what his issues are. Then when he gets better, and if Minor doesn’t get better, they put Keller back in the rotation and put Minor in the bullpen. That’s my prediction. ♂️♂️
I wouldn’t be surprised if Keller went on the IL pretty soon.
$5 says Keller has Tommy John in the next 12 months. No fastball command whatsoever. My guess is his mechanics are off because he’s (subconsciously or not) compensating for something that hurts.
I don’t think they have announced their roster move yet. My guess is they put him on the DL. He needs 2 weeks away from team then come back up through minors starting game. Diagnosis of “arm fatigue” I bet. It’s prob just what he needs too.
Hopefully he stays away from the video games and shows that he cares about baseball instead.
Kansas City currently is at the top of the American League and has two big young arms and a bat about to hit. Basically KC has an outstanding chance actually getting better without making any moves good for them!
Peart of the game
They got worse by moving Junis to the bullpen.
It might be just to throttle innings. He’ll get starts.
Eh, not really. He had a couple of good starts out of necessity earlier this year but has kind of fallen off. The plan all off-season was for him to be moved to the bullpen this year to see if his fb/slider (and now cutter) mix work there. If Lynch has any kind of immediate success like Singer/Bubic then it’s a lateral move in the rotation and an upgrade to a recently shaky pen.
Peart of the game: Well, you’re kind of right. Barlow just blew it for Lynch’s pitching line for the night. Lynch should’ve been out of the 5th if it wasn’t for the errant throw from 2nd. Even so, Barlow’s wild pitch was really costly then the 2 run single makes Lynch’s outing look a lot worse than it was. 4 2/3 innings 3 runs when it should’ve been 5 ip 1 run and he should’ve been in line for the win. I know, coulda shoulda woulda doesn’t really matter except when it does.
Lynch certainly has the makings of a solid #2 but he’s never pitched above high A ball before. I’m surprised they didn’t wait until a month of AA or AAA work, but if the kid is impressing in camp, I guess it makes sense to give him a shot. They can always send him back down.
This point while obviously factually accurate is misleading. Lynch pitched all last season at the alternate site which obviously isn’t actually real-life games but it’s pitching every day against mostly AA and AAA talent for an entire season and by all accounts was outstanding. Not at all a replacement for an actual season but to say he’s never pitched above high A only tells part of the story.
I like it I like it
I’m excited to see him pitch. I thought for sure he would have atleast 2 starts in AA. Royals looking good and bringing up the kids.
Kunis should not be replaced in the rotation unless this is an inning limit move do he can return to the rotation later.
Who do you bump instead? Junis plays better in the bullpen than Minor does and can always come back. All of these kids are gonna be looking at innings limits this year and the bullpen is working through injuries, lengthening our bullpen without losing much from the rotation isn’t a bad thing.
Minor only had one extended stretch out of the bullpen a few years ago with the Royals and he did well enough to somehow get Texas to hand him a three year deal following that very strong season. I would not mind Minor moving back to the pen.
With the braves being dreadful so far to start the year it’s nice that my second favorite team the Royals are playing well. I made a prediction that the Royals were gonna surprise some people, but I wasn’t expecting this. Could just be a flash in the pan, we shall see. Either way this team is exciting.
If the pitching keeps up, they could be surprise contenders for the Central or at least a wild card. I’m similarly impressed with Boston’s start so far
Indians will be no-hit by this guy. Book it
Friday is the first day without an announced starter for the Royals. Maybe Lynch gets that start.