A trio of 2021 KC Royals players have enjoyed some success this season.
Hopes were high in 2017 for Jakob Junis, Kansas City’s righthanded rookie who burst on the big league scene that season with a 9-3 record and tied Danny Duffy for second on the club in victories (Jason Vargas had 18).
His first-year performance earned Junis a spot in the Royals’ rotation and he repeated his nine-win effort in 2018 and 2019. But he also lost 26 games over those two campaigns, then won only twice before he and Kansas City parted ways in November.
Now, Junis appears to have a future with San Francisco. The Giants signed him during spring training, called him up last week, and have used him in long relief twice. He went five innings against Washington, then another five against Oakland, and didn’t give up a run either time. And he has 10 strikeouts and a win.
But apparently facing a roster crunch, the Giants optioned Junis to Triple-A Sacramento Thursday. Look for him to make his way back.
As a definite Royal roster crunch loomed in light of the inevitable return to shortstop of Adalberto Mondesi and the major league debut of Bobby Witt Jr., versatile infielder Hanser Alberto elected to become a free agent late last October. The Dodgers signed him during spring training and he made the Opening Day roster. Since then, he’s played in seven games and is hitting .267 with four singles and a pair of RBIs.
Ryan McBroom, who couldn’t find an everyday role in three years with the Royals and spent most of last season at Triple-A Omaha, chose to continue his career in Japan, where in 24 games with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp he’s driven in 33 runs and is slashing .250/.393/.354 with two home runs.