Five Keys to Kansas City Royals Winning Series Versus Minnesota

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 6: Salvador Perez
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 6: Salvador Perez /
4 of 6
HOUSTON, TX – JULY 18: Sam Gaviglio
HOUSTON, TX – JULY 18: Sam Gaviglio /

No. 3 Improve Starting Pitching

It’s no secret the Kansas City Royals often go as their starting pitching goes.

The bullpen has been known to blow a lead or two. The offense disappears for long stretches (45 innings sometimes). And manager Ned Yost has been on the hook for more than a few questionable decisions over the course of the season.

But this team will only go as far as the starters can carry it. That’s a scary proposition.

The team’s ace, Danny Duffy has been on the disabled list since late August. With a DUI citation during that time, it’s unknown when he will be back—if at all—this season. Jason Vargas and Ian Kennedy have been lit up seemingly every start since the All-Star break.

The lone bright spots recently have been rookie Jake Junis and veteran Jason Hammel. The latter of which won’t start this series after getting the win and a quality start on Wednesday. Junis, though, is set to pitch on Saturday.

The other probable starters are Sam Gaviglio (Thursday), Kennedy (Friday) and Vargas (Sunday). Gaviglio will be making his first start for the Kansas City Royals in the series-opener. The team can only hope it goes better than Onelki Garcia‘s first start in Minnesota when he lasted just six batters.

At least, Gaviglio has made 11 previous starts for Seattle this season. He will still have a lot of pressure on him. And if Gaviglio isn’t able to come through, the trio of Kennedy, Junis and Vargas will need to step it up even more.