RC Interview with Tyler Lumsden

Since being acquired in the Mike MacDougal trade, 23-year-old Tyler Lumsden has taken care of business. In six regular season starts for the Wichita Wranglers, Lumsden compiled a 3.06 ERA while never allowing more than three earned runs in any start. Between Wichita and Birmingham, the lefty was 11-5 with a 2.77 ERA in 159 IP. RC's Kevin Agee recently sat down with Lumsden to discuss his season.

Royals Corner: Tyler, what's the transition from Birmingham to Wichita been like, especially since the two teams are in different leagues? Have you found the hitters in the Texas League to be better?

Tyler Lumsden: The hitters are good wherever you go. You've gotta locate, and if you don't do those things, it can be a long outing for you. But since I've come over here, I've seen some great players. This is definitely what they say, this is a hitter's league. I've seen that this year, but I think if you go out there as a pitcher and get ahead of hitters and throw strikes, that you can have success.

Royals Corner: Have the Royals asked you to do anything differently than what the White Sox did?

Tyler Lumsden: Not really. I've gotta keep going out there and pitching my game. I've had a good first half and I want to finish strong. This is my first full year, and I think finishing the year strong, getting my innings and throwing strikes is the most important thing. Using my pitches and showing I'm capable of going deep in a ballgame. I think if I do that, I'll make the Royals happy.

Royals Corner: What about your control? In Birmingham, you made a big improvement in your walk totals from a year ago, but with Wichita, those control problems seem to have come back a bit. What's been the difference?

Tyler Lumsden: I don't know. Like I said, this is my first full year, and I don't know if it's just one of those things where I'm getting through the year. I may be getting a little tired, but I feel great. I have been walking guys a little bit, but I just need to get back to my game plan and get ahead of hitters. I think I was doing a good job the other night, and I think if I do that it'll take care of itself. You know, I don't want to walk anybody. I try not to every time out, but it happens. I've just gotta work on getting out of jams, and I think it'll help me in the long-run if I just throw that strike one and throw my other pitches for strikes.

Royals Corner: What pitches do you throw?

Tyler Lumsden: I usually stick to a fastball, curveball, and a changeup right now. I do have a cutter/slider, but I've been trying to stick to the main pitches and just command those three.

Royals Corner: With those three pitches, what's your general approach when you're on the mound?

Tyler Lumsden: Well, the main approach is getting ahead of hitters and throwing strikes, and I think everything else will work into place. But the other night, the fastball was definitely working and I was just trying to use that and the two-seamer to run away, and I think it worked out good. I got ahead of hitters, and got to the breaking ball, and it worked well.

Royals Corner: You're such a young player, and you're already going to be pitching in a playoff setting. Do you keep the same approach heading into postseason, or do you mentally step up your game in do-or-die situations?

Tyler Lumsden: I definitely want to step it up. You know, this is a great ball team, and coming over here to a first-place team, they come to win ballgames. Every time out, I want to put us in a situation where we have a chance to win the game. I got a little taste of it before. Right as I signed, I was in the Carolina League, and I got a little taste of the playoffs, so I know what it's all about, and you've just gotta step up. I'm going to just go out there and pitch my game, and I think we'll be fine with the batting lineup we have on this team.

Royals Corner: Yeah, let's talk a little bit about the lineup, because as a pitcher, it has to be comforting to know that those guys have some thunder, so they'll have your back.

Tyler Lumsden: Ever since I got over here, I've seen what this team can do. We're capable of putting up a five-spot in the matter of one inning, so every time out I know that if I give up a run here or a run there, I know that we're capable of coming right back and giving us the lead. I've got the confidence in this lineup any day, and I'll go to the hill every day for these guys.

Royals Corner: Time for a fun question I'm sure you've heard before. What's this about you being ambidextrous?

Tyler Lumsden: Hopefully I don't have to go that way and I can stick with the left hand, but it's just something I mess around with. As a kid, my mom said I grew up picking it up with either hand. Thankfully, I stuck with the left hand, but [using my right arm] always in the back pocket. I haven't really taken it too seriously, because I'm still trying to master the left side first. That's going to be my quickest way to the Major Leagues.

Royals Corner: What's the biggest thing you need to work on?

Tyler Lumsden: I think just repeating my delivery, throwing strikes, using all of my pitches and being able to throw them at any time during the count. I know at the next level, hitters get better, and you have veteran players who've been around the game and know how to hit. That's just the way it is. I think you've gotta be capable of throwing any pitch at any time and trying to keep them off-balance. Getting ahead in the count is the most important thing, and I think everything else will take care of itself.

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