Jakob Junis has had a rough month of September for the Kansas City Royals and there is a good chance that he gets shut down the rest of the season.
Jakob Junis‘ last three starts have not been pretty, tossing a combined 14.2 innings while allowing 14 earned runs. His most recent came on Sunday in the series finale against the Houston Astros, going just 2.2 innings for the Kansas City Royals.
The Astros swept the Royals with conviction but the bigger story is Junis’ immediate future in the rotation. If you recall, Brad Keller was shut down at the end of August, just hours after an innings limit number was finally revealed after weeks of speculation. Keller’s final start, like Junis, was extremely short with just 1.1 innings in a blowout loss and that was enough for the Royals to determine it was not worth pushing Keller any further, who was in his first full season in the rotation.
Well, it appears the same thing may be happening with Junis who been pretty lousy since mid-August. The Royals are not going to the postseason so it’s not worth trotting Junis out there every 5 days if it’s going to hurt his long-term future.
Speaking of, the 26-year old would appear to be a lock for the rotation next season but nothing seems guaranteed beyond that. The Royals anticipate having several of their young-stud pitching prospects ready in the 2021 season, so next year could be a make-or-break season for Junis.
He got off to a very poor start this season with a 5.33 ERA in 19 starts prior to the All-Star break and appeared to right the ship in July and the early part of August before imploding again. It’s unclear right now who would take his place in the rotation for the final two weeks of the season, nor does it likely matter as it is really all about the draft pick right now.
As of Sunday evening, the Marlins have a 2.5 game lead on the Royals for the third overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. We should have more information on the status of Junis soon.