3 Royals who will improve in 2024 and 2 who will not

The Kansas City Royals are looking to improve greatly upon the 106-loss season they endured in 2023. Who are some of the players most likely to see upticks in their performances, and who might not get better?

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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1. Jordan Lyles won't bounce back after rough 2023 season

If you look a Jordan Lyles' numbers from 2023, you might wonder how is it possible he doesn't improve. The reason is simply because, at age 33, he pretty much is what he is at this point. He's basically an innings-eater at the back of the rotation.

Yes, Lyles was better in 2022 than in 2023, but the latter season reflects his numbers from 2020 and 2021. He's led the majors in earned runs allowed in three of the past four seasons, including 2023. He's also given up an average of 34 homers over the past three years.

Lyles has never been a big strikeout guy, but he only whiffed 16 percent of hitters he faced last, the lowest number in a full season since 2016. He doesn't really walk that many batters but hitters slugged at a rate of .501 against him.

The Royals have to be hoping a young pitcher emerges soon, or maybe someone returning from injury, like Kris Bubic, can replace Lyles in the rotation. It would surprising, and probably disappointing, if Lyles was in the rotation the whole season.

The Kansas City Royals have plenty to look forward to in 2024. They should be nowhere near 106 losses again, and might even challenge for a while in a weak American League Central. Things are certainly looking up for the Royals.

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