Nate Karns — Having been acquired for fan favorite Jarrod Dyson, the pressure was on Karns in the 2017 season. Over his eight starts as a Kansas City Royals pitcher, we have seen flashes of the really good stuff we were promised with Karns. However, we have also seen the really bad stuff. A nagging injury turned 2017 into a forgotten season. The way the Kansas City Royals use Karns could be up in the air — with a move to the bullpen a distinct possibility.
He should be healthy to begin the 2018 season, but that is anything but a guarantee going forward. Therefore, if Moore goes out and signs a starting pitcher on the free agent market, Karns could end up as a long reliever or a true Luke Hochevar-like project. If Moore feels confident in relying on Karns in the 2018 season, it’s just as likely for an injury to pop up as it is for him to have a true breakout season. He is a true wild card.
Jake Junis — Although his numbers have not been outstanding, Junis’ 2017 season was encouraging. He seemingly emerged out of nowhere to be Kansas City’s most reliable pitcher in the second half of the season. There were only two or three instances in which Junis was truly “blown up,” which seems incredible if you have watched the Kansas City Royals the past two seasons. If nothing else, he deserves a shot at a full season of work for being consistent down the stretch. I think Junis breaks camp in the rotation.
Brian Flynn — After his brutal injury prior to the 2017 season, Flynn flew under the radar for most of the year. He made one lone appearance for the team, and he spent most of the year in Omaha. While his Omaha numbers left much to be desired, his 2016 campaign was encouraging.