Royals’ Brady Singer: I’m a completely different pitcher
The new Brady Singer has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Kansas City Royals’ starting rotation in many ways.
The individual progress he made had a significant impact on a major league club that was depleting its bullpen due to consistently short outings from its starters.
Coming off a Saturday afternoon win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, Singer has now allowed just three runs in three starts — 19 2/3 innings — in the majors this season. He limited his opponents to 14 hits and just three walks in that span, while he also struck out 20.
More importantly, Singer may have added stability to a rotation that badly needed it. He and fellow 2018 draft classmate Daniel Lynch, paired with stalwart veteran Zack Greinke and workaholic Brad Keller, give the Royals a top four that suggests reliability.
“To come in and have that kind of length for us, our bullpen is beaten,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “They worked hard. We need our starters to come in and take us deeper into the games. Brady has done a good job on those three occasions now.
Singer (2-0) allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings Saturday. He had allowed just one run, on a solo homer, when he left the game. However, he gave it to reliever Gabe Speier with two men and Speier allowed both to score.
Singer didn’t walk a batter for the second time in three starts, and he struck out eight. Five of his strikeouts were called third strikes – four on sinking fastballs. It’s a career high for strikes called in a game for Singer and the most by a Royals starter since Jorge Lopez on Sept. 2, 2018, against the Baltimore Orioles.
Part of this can likely be attributed to Singer’s increased use of change since returning to the majors.
On Saturday, he threw the switch less frequently than his first two starts (just eight percent of the time versus 17 percent). But he was also facing the Twins roster for the second consecutive start and had already planted that seed in the minds of the opposition.
“They have more than two (pitches) to think about,” Matheny said. will always work well. When you can get ahead in the count, which it was, the first goal is huge for our club. He did a great job of working forward and getting the finish shots.
Asked about the frequency of third strikes being called and whether the idea of the change and the fact that he threw it on his last outing might have locked up some hitters, Singer didn’t have much doubt.
“I think so,” Singer said. “I think it also deepens me in ball games. Absolutely. It helps me a lot. I’m glad to know where he is.
Singer entered the day with a career-best 17 2/3 scoreless innings streak, having allowed no runs in his last two relief appearances before going down to the minors as well as his first two. departures since his return.
Another 18-year-old draft pick class, Jonathan Heasley, has struggled uncharacteristically with command issues since being promoted to the majors and slotted into the rotation. But Singer’s progress could have a knock-on effect on the pitching staff who entered the day with the third-worst ERA starter in the majors (5.08).
Singer being a consistent presence in games and making quality starts would be a boon to the Royals staff.
His move to the minors after starting this season in the major league bullpen has translated well so far. Adjusting the hand placement he made on his fastball gave him better control, and it worked well thanks to his change, which he had been throwing more often.
Does that make Singer a different pitcher?
“Absolutely, I think it’s a totally different pitcher,” Singer said. “I think the fastball movement has helped me a lot. I think the three lengths help a lot. I can just see it, like I talked about. Going deeper into the ball games, I have the feel like this is going to get me through this training a third time.