One young pitcher with the Kansas City Royals has been working to increase his innings and may just hit 30 starts in 2020.
Brad Keller is one of the most exciting pitchers in the Kansas City Royals organization. While it is likely that this is a one-sided opinion, it’s should be easy for most to see that Keller is a viable candidate to continue in the rotation for the future.
Keller has pitched in the major leagues for two years with the Royals, after coming to Kansas City through the Rule 5 draft from Arizona. In 2018, Keller was one of the most reliable bullpen arms the Royals had, and when they needed a starter, Keller answered the call.
Keller ended 2018 9-6, with a 3.08 ERA over 140.1 innings. While Keller did see an unfortunate increase in his ERA in 2019 (4.19), he also saw his workload increase, pitching 165.1 innings and starting 28 games.
Keller was able to keep his ERA under 3.00 through most of April, but his struggle with walks early in the season caused him to quickly jump up to a 4.07 by the end of the month. He continued to bounce around above and below 4.00 before finally settling at his 4.19.
It’s likely that Keller had some bad luck this year, but there were also some noticeable control issues. Keller did provide constant starts, though, and was able to consistently pitch to 100 plus pitches. It would be the first season with 30 starts for Keller, but the young starter isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.