3 KC Royals starters who'll begin 2024 in Triple-A, 2 who won't

Kansas City's 2024 rotation looks set, but who's available just in case?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Luis Cessa could be a solid insurance policy for the KC Royals

Cessa, signed by Kansas City to a minor league contract in November after the Cincinnati organization released him, has pitched eight seasons in the majors as a starter and reliever. He has a career 4.43 ERA but struggled last season with a 9.00 ERA for the Reds.

Cessa’s recent struggles make him a high-upside Triple-A stash candidate. That high ERA may scare some away, but he could turn into a quality find.

Why? He looks a lot like Lugo. He’s a low-velocity pitcher who relies heavily on a slider, but his fastball, sinker and changeup all have significant drop. Per Baseball-Reference, he has a career 46.3 GB% and a career 25.9 LD%, numbers that if maintained could play quite well in Kauffman Stadium. And like Lugo, Cessa has maintained a solid WHIP over his eight seasons, including a 1.289 mark in 2022.

Cessa, a pitch-to-contact type hurler, typically has great control with low walk and hard-hit rates. But after last season, he'll need to prove himself in the minors.

Expect to hear Cessa's name later on in the season when the Royals need help from Triple-A. Because they can work him at Omaha without adding him to the 40-man roster, he'll be a valuable insurance policy.