Royals left-hander Daniel Lynch has a strain in his throwing shoulder and will be shut down for 7-10 days, tweets Anne Rogers of MLB.com. With Opening Day less than a week out, it’s highly likely he’ll begin the year on the 15-day injured list.
Lynch suffered the injury in yesterday’s Spring Training outing against San Diego. Working in relief of Brady Singer, he logged 2 1/3 innings of four-run ball before departing with a trainer. Manager Matt Quatraro noted after the game he was headed for imaging after complaining of shoulder discomfort.
A brief shutdown period and potentially minor IL stint is far from the worst outcome that could come from a pitcher’s shoulder issue. Nevertheless, it’s a disappointing start to what could be a make-or-break year for the former #34 overall pick. Despite a top prospect pedigree built around mid-90s velocity and a slider that at times has looked like a plus offering, Lynch hasn’t yet established himself as an effective MLB starter. He took the ball 27 times last year and threw 131 2/3 innings but managed only a 5.13 ERA. That brought his career run prevention mark to 5.32 earned per nine in just under 200 frames.
The Royals overhauled their coaching staff this offseason. Quatraro was brought in from the Rays to replace Mike Matheny as manager. Brian Sweeney was hired from the Guardians to take Cal Eldred’s spot as pitching coach. The hope was that new voices could unlock better performance from the likes of Lynch, Kris Bubic and Carlos Hernández.
That might still prove to be the case, though Lynch’s development path will be on pause as he recovers from the shoulder issue. It also takes him out of the mix for a season-opening rotation job. Singer, Zack Greinke and Jordan Lyles are locks. The final couple spots could go to Ryan Yarbrough and Brad Keller, each of whom has plenty of starting experience but has recently worked out of relief because of inconsistent production. Bubic, Max Castillo and Jonathan Heasley are among the depth options who occupy spots on the 40-man roster.
I have Lynch on my sleeper radar this year. He has the stuff but is still figuring things out. It’s getting late early at this point though. Big lefties take a while to figure it out sometimes though.
Dave Pond 2
I think this might be a move to get Duffy and Reyes on the roster to start the season.
I think I would rather have Franmil Reyes than Matt Duffy. Especially if he can produce like he has in spring training. Technically, we likely only have one spot on the 40 man available once we move somebody to the 60 day (Diego Hernandez maybe?) and I don’t think Daniel Lynch will be on the 60 day he will be on the 10 or 15 day.
Worst rotation in mlb.