Kansas City Royals: It’s Junis Time in KC

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KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Jakob Junis
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Jakob Junis /
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The Kansas City Royals’ Trevor Cahill struggled, again on Wednesday night. Surrendering three runs in 2.1 innings while walking five. Cahill was so bad in fact, that reliever Scott Alexander recorded more outs in the game than he did.

Trevor Cahill‘s struggles really epitomized the struggles of the entire Kansas City Royals pitching staff since Salvador Perez was placed on the DL. The Royals have now played 48 innings since Salvy was removed last Friday night, and have allowed 42 runs in those 48 innings.

The only good stretch of pitching in those 48 innings came from rookie starter Jake Junis. He dealt eight innings of one run baseball in game two of the doubleheader on Sunday. Junis has looked better and better every time he’s returned from Omaha. It’s time for him to take over Cahill’s spot in the rotation for the Kansas City Royals.

Before you lose your mind and accuse me of “already giving up on Cahill”, let me explain my reasoning.

Trevor Cahill has now made 14 starts in 2017. Four of those starts came in Petco Park, home of the SanDiego Padres. In those four starts Cahill was fantastic, allowing only two ER in 25 IP. That’s good for an ERA of 0.72.

The problem is that when Trevor Cahill has started a game away from Petco Park, he’s allowed 33 ER in 47 IP. Good for an ERA of 6.32. This was a concern I expressed when the Kansas City Royals acquired Cahill.

I believe he’s far more valuable out of the bullpen than he is in the rotation. I have no idea why he can’t pitch outside of Petco Park but he certainly does not deserve another start for KC.

Jakob Junis does. Junis has been a little spotty for KC in 2017. In his one start in which fellow Triple-A call-up Cam Gallagher caught him, he went eight innings and only allowed the one run to Seattle.

The Kansas City Royals need a spark from someone in the pitching staff. The only one they’ve gotten recently was from Jake Junis.

Junis has been tearing it up in Triple-A recently, and currently has an ERA of 2.92 with 86 K in 71 IP for the Omaha Storm Chasers. Besides, Junis can’t possibly be any worse than Cahill has been in the rotation for KC.

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Again, I think Cahill has value in the bullpen. I’m not “giving up” on anyone, but a 10 start sample size away from Petco Park is a big enough to know that a guy isn’t good enough to start for a playoff contender. The Kansas City Royals didn’t add an impact SP at the trade deadline, but they have the opportunity to insert one into the rotation now with Jake Junis.

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