Nathan Karns/Kyle Zimmer/Mike Minor/Matt Strahm
The second major move that the KC Royals made this offseason was the acquisition of RHP Nathan Karns from the Mariners in exchange for Jarrod Dyson. While this trade drew some heat from Royals fans due to the fact that fan-favorite Jarrod Dyson would now be headed to the West coast, the trade brought a reliable and solid #5 starter to the Kansas City region. While Karns seems to be the obvious choice for the fifth starer, the injury-ridden prodigal son Kyle Zimmer is poised to make yet another run for a spot in the Royals starting bloc.
Youngster Zimmer has some nasty stuff and a crazy high potential ceiling, but has yet to have a healthy season in recent memory, causing him to be stuck rehabbing in the minors. I would hate to speak prematurely, but Zimmer said he is feeling well and should be good to go for Spring Training down in Surprise.
Mike Minor has been another one of the injury ridden guys that has yet to crack the Royals rotation. After being riddled with multiple should injuries spanning the course of a few seasons, the former Atlanta Brave will aim to make a run at the #5 spot. Also making a push for the fifth starter spot is LHP Matt Strahm, who proved useful in the bullpen last season. Ned said on Wednesday that the fifth starter spot is up for grabs and he specifically named Karns and Strahm as two possibilities.
Overall, slots 1-4 in the Kansas City Royals 2017 rotation seem to be filled, and well filled at that. I am extremely excited to see how these guys perform as well as what will come of the fifth starter scenario. Danny Duffy will have to keep being gnar, Kennedy will need to prove consistency and Hammel will have to find his place on this year’s KC Royals squad. There’s a lot of potential here and a lot to be excited about, Royals fans.