Royals’ Singer faces tough task vs. White Sox

MLB

Prospect-turned-major-leaguer Brady Singer will take the mound for the Kansas City Royals in a Friday home matchup against the Chicago White Sox.

Singer has never been forced to swallow much disappointment.

As a senior in high school, he went 8-3 with a 1.25 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 67 innings. Singer was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2015 draft, but he did not sign and attended the University of Florida.

After his freshman year at Florida, he was named the best prospect in the highly touted Cape Cod Baseball League. As a sophomore at Florida, he was part of a College World Series championship team and was named to the CWS all-tournament team. As a junior, he was the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, which earned him a first-round selection by the Royals.

He was part of the 2018 draft in which Kansas City selected four college pitchers in the first round, including compensation picks.

Singer moved quickly through the minor leagues, going from Class-A Wilmington to Double-A Northwest Arkansas in his only season in the minors. The Royals had two starters on the injured list to start the 2020 season, so Singer was tabbed to start the second game of the season in Cleveland.

So far in the 2020 season, Singer is 1-3 with a 5.19 ERA. His first win came against the Twins, but he’s lost his last two decisions. In his last start on Aug. 29 against the White Sox (23-15), he took a no-decision when he allowed three runs on five hits in five innings.

But the lack of success for him or the team has not toned down his drive.

“I can turn it off sometime, but I’m pretty competitive,” he said. “I realize it’s just a game, but I don’t know how you don’t have it. I don’t know how you can have one guy on the team without it. That just doesn’t work.”

He says that nobody ever tried to curb that competitiveness, not that it would have done any good. “Nobody ever tried ever,” he said. “I wouldn’t let them say it, either.”

The White Sox, coming off an 11-6 win over the Royals on Thursday and a half-game back of the Cleveland Indians for first place in the AL Central, will send Dane Dunning (0-0, 2.89 ERA) to the mound.

Dunning has just two major league starts with the last one coming against the Royals (14-24). He pitched five hitless shutout innings against Kansas City, allowing just one walk while striking out seven. Ryan O’Hearn’s lineout to right fielder Adam Engel to open the second was the only ball to leave the infield against Dunning.

“We were strong in the conviction (with) the program we had established for (Dunning), and we were going to stick to it,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “When he came out, he was kind of surprised he was done, but like I said, we’re doing everything we can to make sure we bring him along at a pace that we ultimately feel very comfortable with. But he’s feeling really, really good.”

After having Tommy John surgery in March 2019, Dunning understands the White Sox’s caution. He’s also ready to go deeper in games if called upon.

“I feel like I’m capable of doing it,” Dunning said. “I’ve been built up, especially (at the team’s alternate training site). I’ve been throwing longer outings, and I feel good. I feel I can go long. I felt really comfortable on the mound today; felt in my groove. Felt really good.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.