Kansas City Royals: Bubba Starling could be injured yet again

The Kansas City Royals Bubba Starling. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
The Kansas City Royals Bubba Starling. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a bad season and there was a small glimmer of hope that former first round pick Bubba Starling could make it to the big leagues this year.

The 2018 season hasn’t been all that kind to the Kansas City Royals, but with this being a rebuilding year, fans aren’t too shocked. This seemed to be the perfect season to see what guys like Bubba Starling, Hunter Dozier, and Josh Staumont are capable of.

That might have to wait for Bubba Starling, as he has re-injured his oblique while playing in a game with the Omaha Stormchasers on Thursday. Starling hadn’t been back in the swing of things for very long after nursing an injured oblique to begin the regular season.

Before, Starling’s problem was that he couldn’t figure things out at the plate, and that was definitely a big problem. Now the issue is that the guy can’t stay healthy at all. That type of stuff doesn’t usually disappear either, so the chances are if Starling is injury prone at age 25, he’s probably never going to kick that.

During his ten games back in action with the Stormchasers, Starling slashed .265/.359/.324 with nine hits, five runs, two RBI, and two doubles. He walked five times while striking out six times.

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Starling was the Royals’ first round pick back in the 2011 draft and was the fifth overall pick that year. He was a local kid, growing up in Gardner, and most Royals fans know that Starling had his pick between playing quarterback for Nebraska or heading to the minor leagues in hopes of playing professional baseball with the Royals.

Starling chose the baseball path and here we are, seven years later and he still hasn’t sniffed the major leagues. He looked close to getting a September call-up last year, but hit the disabled list, which sidelined him for the duration of the regular season.

While another injury probably isn’t a good sign for Bubba Starling making it to Kansas City, he’s still only 25 years old. Players have made it to the big leagues much later, including the Royals’ own Whit Merrifield. Merrifield is a rare case, yes (especially for a late round draft pick), but it is an example of players making a splash in the majors in their late 20s.

If Starling never makes it to the bigs, he’ll be another disappointing first round pick for the Kansas City Royals. Some could argue that the organization hasn’t really hit on a first round selection since taking Eric Hosmer third overall in 2008… you know, ten years ago.

The lack of first round picks panning out has been a big problem for the Royals, but what makes the Starling selection even worse is seeing how well guys taken after him have done in the majors. Francisco Lindor, George Springer, and Sonny Gray were all a few of the eventual All-Stars that went after Starling in 2011.

Will this injury be the last we hear of Bubba Starling or will he persevere and make it to the majors?