KC Royals: Brian Flynn Has Been Big Find In Bullpen
By John Viril
KC Royals fans mostly know that the bullpen enjoyed a 42.1 inning scoreless streak in August. Yet most credit rookie Matt Strahm or they reinvigorated Joakim Soria without considering lefty Brian Flynn.
No serious Kansas City Royals fan should over-look Flynn’s contributions. He’s riding an 10.0 inning scoreless streak and hasn’t a allowed a run in August in 9.1 innings pitched.
Brian Flynn got the call to Kansas City in early May and appeared in five games before kC optioned him back to AAA Omaha. But, Flynn came back in late June and had remained on the Royals roster ever since. His 2.49 ERA in 43.1 innings has been a nice addition to the pen.
Flynn isn’t a super hard thrower despite his 6’7″ 250 pound stature. But, he does bring the heat at 93.71 mph on average in 2016. Sometimes his fourseam fastball will touch 95 or 96 mph on a good day. Along with his fastball, he throws a sinker and slider. Overall, he’s posted a decent 7.3 K/9.
While hardly overpowering, Flynn has been effective.
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Most importantly, Flynn has given KC Royals manager Ned Yost a reliable lefty option out of the pen after Danny Duffy moved to the rotation in late May. However, Flynn isn’t just a one-out lefty specialist (LOOGY). He’s been effective against both right and left handed hitters in 2016, with a .573 OPS against right handed hitters and .611 OPS against lefties.
Flynn Joins KC In A Trade
The 26-year-old Flynn joined the Kansas City Royals organization after coming over from the Miami Marlins in a trade for reliever Aaron Crow before the 2015 season. Flynn suffered a lat injury (shoulder) in mid-April of 2015 and ended up pitching only one inning for AAA Omaha.
He pitched well enough in spring training to draw notice from the front office, but didn’t make the club to open the season. Flynn did, however, get called up when injuries ravaged the KC Royals pitching staff making his first appearance in a Kansas City uniform on May 6.
The Kansas City Royals sent him back to Omaha on May 22, but brought him back for good in late June. He’s been helping the bullpen ever since. At this point, expect to see him coming out of the pen in Kansas City for years to come. Useful lefties tend to stick around for a long time.
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Brian Flynn’s season has mostly flown under the radar. However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been an important bullpen piece in 2016.