Another starting pitcher was among the three most disappointing KC Royals.
Kris Bubic has appeared in more big league games (67) than any of the other four other highly-touted starters—Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar and Jonathan Heasley—to reach the majors since Kansas City swept them all up in the 2018 amateur draft.
But, like Kowar especially (0-6 with an astronomical 10.76 ERA in 16 games), Bubic hasn’t met expectations. He went 1-6, 4.32 as a rookie during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and a more encouraging 6-7, 4.43 in 2021, a full-campaign performance that, while not concern-free, offered hope for a good 2022.
Unfortunately, little was good about Bubic’s third major league season. His 13 losses fell one shy of equaling Brad Keller’s 14 for team worst and he won only three times. His ERA jumped to 5.58 (78 ERA+) and he averaged less than five innings in 27 starts.
He also spent three weeks working in the minors after going 0-3 with a 13.14 ERA in his first five starts.
To say that, after 2021, Bubic’s 2022 was a disappointment, even a bitter one, states the obvious. His numbers are intolerable even for a last-place club like the Royals, and not the kind a pitcher striving for a long and successful major league career can repeat.
Hopefully, whoever replaces Cal Eldred as pitching coach can help Bubic find his way. If not, a lengthy Kansas City stay might not be in Bubic’s future.