The Royals have placed right-hander Jakob Junis on the 10-day injured list, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star relays. Junis got a late start to Summer Camp because of a positive COVID-19 test, so he needs more time to build up for the campaign.
This news throws a wrench into Kansas City’s season-opening plans, as the 27-year-old Junis joined lefties Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery as locks for its rotation. Junis was a major source of innings for the Royals in each of the previous two seasons, during which he combined for 352 1/3 frames. He amassed 175 1/3 over 31 starts last year and posted 8.42 K/9 against 2.98 BB/9, but Junis struggled to a 5.24 ERA/4.82 FIP.
Before losing Junis, the Royals’ starting staff was already set to open the season without righty Brad Keller, who just returned from a coronavirus diagnosis and will need time to get up to speed. Interestingly, though, the team’s openings in its rotation could clear a path for 23-year-old Brady Singer, who looks as if he’ll earn a 30-man roster spot, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. Singer made a strong case for himself with four scoreless innings in an intrasquad game Friday.
The 18th overall pick in 2018 and currently MLB.com’s 59th-ranked prospect, Singer is no stranger to recording outstanding numbers. In his first minor league season last year, he combined for 148 1/3 innings with a 2.85 ERA and 8.4 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 between High-A and Double-A.