The moment finally arrived for Jackson Kowar‘s Major League debut for the Kansas City Royals and — Well, it didn’t go as planned. Kowar got rocked by an Angels lineup that was missing Mike Trout, only securing two outs off of 39 pitches.
While it was a rough debut for the 24-year-old right-hander, this was one start out of what Royals fans hope will be many starts. It was mostly all bad for Kowar in this debut, as he went just 0.2 innings and looked to not have any sort of command whatsoever, but it wasn’t all bad.
Per Matthew Lamar of Royals Review,
"Alright, there are maybe two nice things to say about Kowar’s outing. The Angels didn’t really destroy him; in the five balls they put in play, none leapt off their bats at triple digit speed. And in plate appearances against Anthony Rendon and Jose Iglesias, Kowar made a few truly nice pitches that were just barely fouled off."
Lamar mentions that while Kowar had a rough night, the Angels didn’t totally take advantage of him in his debut. Nerves certainly played a factor in it, as this was the guy’s first Major League start, so let’s cut him some slack. The Royals are at .500 after losing 8-3 to the Angels and Kowar is going to get many more opportunities to prove he’s ready to compete at the big league level.
Jackson Kowar struggled in start No. 1 for the Kansas City Royals.
Now to put fans’ minds at ease a bit.
Kowar was called up for a reason. He was straight up dealing in Omaha for the Stormchasers through six starts, twirling 31.2 innings of work for an ERA of 0.85. Clearly, Kowar was doing just fine in the minors and this isn’t a question of the Royals rushing him to the big leagues. He was ready for the call-up but it just wasn’t his night.
The Royals called up Daniel Lynch at the beginning of last month and he also struggled. He made three starts before he was sent back to the minors to work out the mechanics. Meanwhile, Brady Singer and Kris Bubic are both in the big leagues, rounding out the heralded 2018 pitching draft class.
Would it have been cool to see Kowar dominate in his MLB debut? Of course, but this was one game and fans shouldn’t panic about Kowar after one lousy outing. He still needs to work on some stuff but be patient with him and hopefully, he’ll start to piece it together, as Bubic is doing in year No. 2.