No one thought that handing Jordan Lyles a two year contract was a good idea. After all, he had been one of the worst players in the majors back in 2011. But the Kansas City Royals needed someone that could eat up innings and Lyles did have a career best showing in 2022. Lyles in Kansas City was inevitable.
His results thus far were inevitable as well. After showing a brief flash of competency, Lyles has fallen apart with the Royals. He has a 0-10 record with a 6.84 ERA, allowing 18 homers in 73.2 innings. He leads the majors in losses, earned runs, and homers allowed. To make it even worse, the Royals have lost all 13 of his starts. While they are not contending with an 18-44 record heading into Friday, Lyles made a bad situation worse.
At least Jordan Lyles is making history with Kansas City Royals
His ineptitude on the pitcher’s mound has already reached historic levels. He joined Anthony Reyes in 2007 as the only pitchers in the past 30 years to begin a season 0-10; Reyes would go on to finish the year with a 2-14 record. Lyles has also joined Kyle Abbott (1993) and Matt Beach (1997) as the only pitchers known in MLB history to have their team lose their first 13+ starts in a season. At least he can say he is the first person not on the Phillies to do so.
Lyles may not be done making history. He is easily on pace to set a franchise record for losses in a season, surpassing Paul Splittorff and Darrell May, each of whom lost 19 games in a year. Given his putrid performance, and the Royals’ struggles, he could join Mike Maroth as the only pitchers to lose 20+ games in a season since 1980. The only question may be whether or not he can beat Jack Nabors’ .048 winning percentage (he was 1-20) in 1916. Of course, Lyles would need to win a game first.
No one should be surprised. The Royals’ inability to develop pitching and low payroll have led to desperate times. That desperation led to hoping Lyles’ 2022 campaign could be replicated. Instead, they have lit $17 million on fire. At least they could get a historic season for that money.
Jordan Lyles has been atrocious for the Kansas City Royals. Absolutely everyone should have seen that coming.