Royals manager Ned Yost said Wednesday that he doesn’t know what his pitching staff will look like to start the 2019 season. Yost said that he feels that there are a lot of good options but roles are not yet defined.
Yost doesn’t know who will be the opening day starter.
“I don’t know that if [Fillmyer and Lopez] don’t make the rotation, that they make the bullpen,” Yost said on Wednesday. “You just look at the numbers down there. You got Boxberger, Diekman, Storen. It changed. Things change from day to day. You can’t solidify your plans because you don’t know what your plans are going to be.Ned Yost as recorded by Jeffrey Flanagan for MLB.com
Brad Keller, Danny Duffy and Jakob Junis are the likely candidates to get that call. Keller was the big surprise in 2018 after being selected in the Rule 5 draft. Keller was 9-6 with a 1.30 WHIP in 140.1 innings. He started 20 games and had 41 total appearances on the season. Keller should be in the rotation all season in 2019.
Jakob Junis was 18-15 in 2018 with a 1.27 WHIP and a 4.35 ERA. Junis had 164 strikeouts and 43 walks in 177.0 innings pitched.
Danny Duffy started 28 games in 2018 and went 8-12 with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Duffy had 141 strikeouts and 70 walks in his 155.0 innings. Duffy signed a five-year, $65 million contract in January of 2017 that runs through 2021. Duffy will make $15.25 million this season and 2020 and then $15.5 million in 2021.