While Jakob Junis has seen his struggles, he has proven that he has the stuff to compete, and could easily make his way back into the rotation in 2020.
Jakob Junis, like Keller, is another pitcher that is very likely to return to the rotation, though some rumors have him moving to a role in the bullpen. While there is really no telling at this point, for the moment, it looks as though he will continue his spot in the starting rotation.
Junis has been a decent, middle to back of the rotation pitcher for the Royals. One thing working in Junis’s favor is that he has been able to start 30 and 31 games over the previous two seasons, giving the Royals a starter who can at least eat some innings.
Junis is another pitcher that has seemed to regress, but can still manage to find some good work for the Royals. Junis saw his ERA jump from a 4.37 in 2018 to a 5.24 in 2019. This was likely, at least in part, due to some control issues as seen through his walk rate.
In previous years, Junis gave up just over 2 walks per 9, but that number jumped to 3 in 2019, continuing the trend seen in most of the Royals pitching staff. His strikeout rate stayed consistent, bumping up to 8.4 form 8.3 in 2019 and his FIP hit 4.82, up just a bit from his 4.64 in 2018.
There has been some talk of moving Junis to the bullpen, suggesting he is more effective on his first time through the order, but due to his ability to eat innings, it’s likely the Royals will give him another shot in the starting rotation.
If Junis continues to struggle, he may see his time as a starter cut short, but the Royals need pitchers who can consistently start instead of playing the round-robin of starting pitchers fans have seen in the past.