With an injury to the rotation, the Kansas City Royals are given the freedom to experiment a little. Now is the time for a newly acquired pitcher to show that his stuff isn’t just bullpen material.
The Kansas City Royals struck gold in the Rule-5 Draft during the offseason. When he was acquired we all heard about how the Royals were originally going to draft him in 2013 before the Arizona Diamondbacks took him in the 8th round.
When given the opportunity to “take him back” the Royals pounced. After the Cincinnati Reds acquired Brad Keller from the Diamondbacks in the Rule-5 Draft, the Royals negotiated a deal to bring the newly acquired Reds pitcher to Kansas City.
While only reaching Double-A during his short career, Keller had put up some pretty average minor league numbers. However, that didn’t stop the Royals from seeing the minor league starter as a viable MLB bullpen arm.
With a 95mph-96mph fastball and sinker, as well as a 91mph changeup and 87mph slider, Keller has shown to be a hard puzzle to crack for MLB hitters.
Brad Keller’s impressive 2018 season
So far this year, Keller has 2.01 ERA over 21 games and 22.1 innings. His 1.07 WHIP and .207 opponent hitting percentage aren’t spectacular, but they are solid. When comparing Keller to other relievers throwing 22+ innings this year, his ERA ranks him 20th and his WHIP ranks him 27th. Not to bad for a 22-year-old rookie.
The question that has started coming up has been “what can Keller do in the rotation?”
Lucky for all those asking the question, including me, we don’t have to wait much longer.
This news comes with two different types of feelings. One would be excited because we get to see what Keller can do as a starter. Keller could potentially be a part of the future rotation, which would benefit the Royals tremendously. The second would be disappointment because it came at the expense of Eric Skoglund being injured.
While Skoglund has been streaky this year, it would benefit the Royals more to have him work through his inconsistencies rather than spending time on the DL. It will also benefit the Royals to see what Keller can do on the rotation.
While one start won’t show much, with a strong outing on Wednesday the Royals would be forced to give Keller another start. The idea that the future rotation could have both Keller and Skoglund, as well as Jakob Junis and potentially Trevor Oaks points to a young rotation that could be effective.
Again, while fans may not like losing, we are starting to see the youth movement. Which with the youth movement starting, more losing will most likely continue to happen.
So what do you think Royals fans? Are you excited to see what Brad Keller can do as a rotation arm? Do you think he could be a vital piece of the Royals rotation future? Let us know below!