The KC Royals haven’t been known for their terrific starting pitching in recent years, but that’s going to change in 2021.
When the Kansas City Royals were in back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015, their starting rotation was arguably their weakest link. The unit wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but rather, they weren’t as stacked as the bullpen and defense were. Hey, not every area on the team can be a winner.
This year, however, the Royals’ starting rotation very well could be the strength of the team. For one, they’ll have ace Brad Keller returning to run the show while Brady Singer and Kris Bubic return to continue their rookie seasons (MLB rookie seasons are a bit different than most other sports due to service time). Danny Duffy is back for what could be his final season in KC and Mike Minor has also re-signed with the team after three years away.
That’s a decent-looking group right there and could give Royals fans some fun times this season.
Even if the KC Royals aren’t a playoff team in 2021, the starting rotation should make for a fun ride.
MLB.com predicted Opening Day lineups, rotations, and closers and that was when it really hit me with how intriguing this rotation could be. They had Keller as the ace and that makes perfect sense considering how good he’s been since joining the team in 2018.
At No. 2 came Minor, which was a little surprising to me. Minor is coming off a rough 2020 season in which he had a total ERA of 5.56 split between two teams. When he pitched for Kansas City in 2017, it was out of the bullpen and he was actually a pretty good closer during that time, locking down six saves.
Duffy was the No. 3 starter on the list, Singer No. 4, and Bubic rounding things out as the No. 5 starter. Personally, I’d put Singer in the No. 2 spot and then move Minor and Duffy back one spot each. I do understand this prediction though, as Singer is still very young and the Royals don’t want to throw him into an early rotation spot too early. Eventually, he probably will move up, especially once injuries occur.
The Royals will also have the likes of Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar ready to come up to the major league level this year and that could force their hand in putting Duffy into the bullpen if he’s struggling. The Royals already moved Jakob Junis to the bullpen this year and that could end up being a very smart move for them.
I’m really excited to see what the Kansas City Royals rotation can do in 2021 and down the road. With all of their young pitching prospects, this team could do some serious damage.