Kansas City, Mo. – The photo popped up Twitter last night. Tigers manager AJ Hinch estimated he got it sent to him about 5,000 times.
It was sent out by Kansas City-based @dadbodtee. It was a picture of Royals starting pitcher Jordan Lyles from Monday night, when he blanked the Tigers on three hits over six innings. The picture clearly shows a strip of sticky stuff on his left wrist.
“Yeah, there’s definitely something there,” Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson said. “But that hasn’t gone away. Guys are still doing that (using sticky stuff). He just happened to not get caught. There’s nothing we can do about it now.
“It’s like, if you can do it and not get caught, I guess more power to him.”
Looking at Lyles’ pitch metrics, he had 2.2-mph more velocity on his curveball than his season average and his spin rate was up 141 rpms with more horizontal break than usual.
His changeup, too, was better. He had three more inches of downward movement with it and he got five swinging strikes on six swings at it.
“Look at his breaking ball, his curveball especially,” Torkelson said. “He didn’t use that pitch as much before. We noticed he was using it more (last night). I think he had more rpms of spin and a couple more inches of depth. But honestly, whatever.”
Alfonso Marquez, the crew chief and third base umpire Monday night, did check Lyles after every inning.
“I don’t know how they missed it,” Torkelson said.
Torkelson didn’t have any real issue with Lyles. If using the sticky stuff helped him have better control and reduce the risk of him getting plunked with a pitch, he’s OK with it. Within reason.
“It’s like, he’s 1-11 (Lyles’ win-loss record this season),” Torkelson shrugged. “You can have it. Take it.”
Hinch chose not to comment on it. Lyles has yet to comment.