Former Royals First-Round Pick Takes Big Step Toward Return

Matt Quatraro and the Royals are off to a historic start to the season
Matt Quatraro and the Royals are off to a historic start to the season / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

LHP Kris Bubic took a huge step in his return from injury to the Kansas City Royals on Monday, as the organization announced his rehab assignment has been transferred to the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA).

Originally a supplemental first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft (40th overall), Bubic got off to a hot start in 2023 before ultimately needing Tommy John Surgery. The Royals have perhaps MLB's best starting rotation, but Bubic can provide quality depth as a left-handed reliever or spot starter.

You can never have too much starting pitching, and Bubic's eventual return will give Matt Quatraro another potential weapon to utilize.

Royals News: LHP Kris Bubic's Rehab Assignment Moves to AAA

The Royals have been one of MLB's healthiest teams all year, though just lost 2B Michael Massey to the 10-Day IL. SP Alec Marsh spent time injured as well, and it's inevitable that more players will suffer injuries at some point.

Thus, it's good for the team to be prepared. Even if Bubic takes some time to shake the rust off and regain his form, it's a good sign he's on his way back. From a performance perspective, he's looked great in his rehab starts so far.

Bubic has had his fair share of struggles at the professional level, but he's young and had a 2.63 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) before getting hurt in 2023. The Royals are off to an almost unbelievable start, so perhaps Bubic can provide some value to one of the sport's hottest teams.

I don't expect Bubic to make a significant impact this year unless it's as a reliever. He'll spend time in Omaha and the club won't rush him. Considering the Royals have the luxury of patience thanks to their stellar pitching staff, Bubic can rehab at his own pace.

That said, I'm excited to see what he can do when he's ready.

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