The Kansas City Royals will try to restore order on the mound Tuesday after allowing 27 runs in their previous two games.
They will send promising left-hander Daniel Lynch against the host St. Louis Cardinals to open a two-game interleague series.
After starting the season with 3-1 and 1-0 home victories over Cleveland, the Royals dropped the next two games against the Guardians 17-3 and 10-7.
“We got a little taste of what we can do and a taste of things we need to let go … and get better from,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ve seen components of everything we want to, it’s just the consistency of doing it day in, day out, inning by inning.”
Lynch, the 34th overall pick in the 2018 draft, went 4-6 with a 5.69 ERA in 15 starts as a rookie last season. After struggling during his first exposure to major league hitting, he posted a 2.39 ERA over five starts in August before struggling again in September, when he had an 8.69 ERA in five starts.
Then Lynch set out to improve his fastball and curveball during his offseason, working off analysis provided by the Royals.
“Analytics are a hard thing because it’s really easy for it to come off like it’s critical,” Lynch said, according to MLB.com. “But they did a good job of making sure that it was, ‘Hey, look, we think you’re fine the way you are. But here’s how we think you could become elite.’ “
Lynch is set for his first appearance against St. Louis.
The Cardinals pushed back pitcher Dakota Hudson’s first start by one day when inclement weather caused a postponement of their scheduled Monday home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game will be made up during a day-night doubleheader on June 14 at Busch Stadium.
Hudson will pitch to catcher Andrew Knizner, with Yadier Molina getting a day off. Jordan Hicks, who was scheduled to start Tuesday, will work out of the bullpen instead with Adam Wainwright keeping his Wednesday start. Hicks will be slotted back into the rotation on Saturday in Milwaukee.
“This just allows us to keep everything on track,” said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, who returned to his post Monday after missing two games due to an illness. “If you look at it, going into that Milwaukee series, I’d love to have (Wainwright) throw Game 1 there, but having a full, healthy ‘pen going into that four-game set also makes sense.”
Late last season, Hudson went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two appearances after returning from Tommy John surgery. He was 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts in 2020 before sustaining the arm injury.
He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in three career appearances against the Royals, including two starts.
With Lynch pitching for the Royals, the Cardinals are likely to start Albert Pujols as their designated hitter. The veteran slugger went 0-for-5 in his lone game thus far in 2022.
Lynch also will need to pay attention to third baseman Nolan Arenado, the National League’s Player of the Week after going 6-for-12 with three doubles, two homers, four runs and seven RBIs in the first three games.
–Field Level Media