KC Royals pitcher Dillon Gee pitched two scoreless innings in extras Wednesday night to earn his fourth win of the season. However, the extended relief stint is likely to force him to miss his turn on Saturday.
According to Kansas City Star reporter Rustin Dodd, the Kansas City Royals are listing their Saturday starter in Minnesota as TBA (To Be Announced).
Part of the decision could be depend on if the KC Royals continue their recent “RallyMantis” hot streak. If his team is going to make a run, manager Ned Yost knows it pretty much has to be now because the Kansas City Royals will need to finish 36-13 to win 90 games, and 32-17 to win 86 (which is the win total that earned the AL’s second wild for the Houston Astros last season).
Pretty much any way you slice it, the KC Royals are going to have to play fabulous baseball to make an October miracle happen. That means Yost can’t afford to give away games.
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One possibility is that Dillon Gee could make the start with a low pitch limit like 75 or 80 pitches. Yost could then depend on long relievers like Chris Young and Brian Flynn to pick up the slack and get the team into the late innings. Their ability to eat innings will depend on how rested the bullpen will be on Saturday, which is something no one can really know on Thursday.
Other options would be to throw Chris Young out there (yuck!), hand the ball to Brian Flynn—who started for AAA Omaha this season—or see what Matt Strahm can do as a member of the starting rotation. The club is excited about the lefty Strahm’s potential and upside, but the 24-year-old has only pitched a whole four innings above the AA level.
Yeah, that’s not really a great recipe for success.
Another possibility would be to call up AAA Omaha’s scheduled starter for Saturday, who happens to be rehabbing Mike Minor. However, Minor only lasted 4.1 innings in his last start on August 7—though he did allow only one earned run in a loss to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
The KC Royals could also decide to bring up Nick Tepesch, who is starting at AAA Omaha and is a major-league veteran that the Royals claimed from the Dodgers on waivers earlier this season. Brooks Pounders has also pitched in Kansas City this season and is on the 40-man roster, but he started Wednesday night for Omaha.