It was a rough three games in Los Angeles for the Royals.
Now that we are 60 games into the season, I thought it was a good time to look at how the starting rotation has performed so far. So I’m doing that today.
Los Angeles Angels 6, Kansas City Royals 1 (Game Review)
8:40pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics (BSKC)
STATE OF THE ROTATION
The Royals are 60 games into the season. Coming into the season, many said their biggest question was the rotation. Of course, I had the offense up there as a concern as well. But today, let’s talk rotation.
Brad Keller got the honor of the opening day start. That first start was awful, and it led to a bad April. Keller started five games in April and finished with a 9.00 ERA for the month. His struggles carried over to his first start in May. But after that May 2 start, Keller has been better. He hasn’t been what you want from a #1 starter, but he’s not a #1 starter. He’s just the top starter for the Royals. And his results since May 2 have been decent to not terrible.
When Dayton Moore signed Mike Minor, he must have expected him to settle into the 3-4 spot in the rotation. Instead, he hasn’t been that good. Minor is flirting with an ERA around 5.00.
This signing has not worked out. Yes, it’s early, but I don’t see any signs of things turning around. Minor is under contract for 2022 for $10 million. The signing of Minor was understandable. Moore didn’t want to hand rotation spots to the young prospects. And you always need depth in the rotation. It just hasn’t worked out. We’ll see if he eventually shifts to the bullpen. That will be up to how well the young pitching prospects develop.
The best word for Brady Singer’s start to the 2021 season is disappointing. After a 4.06 ERA in 12 starts in 2020, the hope was that he would have a better idea of how to battle major league batters and that ERA, while not at all bad for a first season, would drop. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Singer has been much worse in 2021. He has an ERA of 4.88 after 12 starts this season and has had just two really good starts. Both came back in April.
Singer isn’t as aggressive attacking the strike zone this year, and it has hurt him. He has also shown a concerning attitude on the mound. He seems to think he’s better than he has been but lacks the confidence to attack batters. If he had the attitude with his pitching that he has had towards umpires, he would be better off. I’m not sure yet if his mental state on the mound will eventually help him excel or prevent him from being the pitcher the Royals had hoped they drafted.
Kris Bubic had been excellent until his last start. But every pitcher is going to have a clunker. We won’t hold that against him. Bubic has actually done what we had hoped to have seen from Singer. He has improved his ERA from 4.32 in ten starts last year to 3.32 so far this year in ten appearances, five of them starts.
Bubic started the season in the minors but was called up at the beginning of May and stepped into the rotation when Danny Duffy was injured. And though his last start was terrible, and he has only started five games, Bubic has been the best starter for the club in its first 60 games.
Speaking of Danny Duffy, he was outstanding in April with a 0.39 ERA in four starts. You couldn’t have expected a better start from anyone. However, May was more like what you would have hoped for. He had three May starts and posted a 3.86 ERA over that span. But then he went on the injured list with a forearm strain. Forearm strains often lead to Tommy John surgery. Duffy has already had that surgery once in his career, and the Royals are saying they caught the problem before that was necessary this time. I’m not buying it. The Royals are talking like he could be back soon, but I’m not holding my breath. April is over, and my guess is that if he comes back this season, which is a big if, in my mind, I don’t expect to see that pitcher again, and I don’t expect him to be pitching at the end of the season.
With all of the trouble the rotation has had this season, it’s hard to believe the Royals are around .500 at this time. But somehow, they are right there. If they want to make a run at a winning season, the young guns will need to improve.
NOTES… Kansas will hold Late Night on Friday, October 1…The six Premier League teams that were supposed to be a part of the Super League will pay $28 million as part of a settlement with the EPL… The NFL is starting the process to find a partner city in Germany to host games as early as 2022.
The way to win in college basketball may now include analytics, transfer portal experts and … brand managers? (CJ Moore and Kyle Tucker)
Thanks for reading…