If things were not bad enough for the KC Royals, they certainly got worse with Kris Bubic's injury. The team announced the lefty starter will require Tommy John surgery, shelving Bubic for the rest of the year. It is a big blow to an already shallow rotation, especially since Bubic was having a strong start to 2023. The Royals deployed reliever Taylor Clarke as an opener during his scheduled start, and the bullpen members held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs. It was a good pitching performance by the staff, but using relievers as openers is not a sustainable method. The Royals will have to add a pitcher to the rotation, whether they have a good option or not.
The KC Royals have to do address the rotation soon after Kris Bubic's surgery. What, if any, reinforcements could come from the minors?
Daniel Lynch has yet to begin any rehab assignment, so his return is not imminent. He suffered a left shoulder strain during a spring training game against the San Diego Padres, and Royals fans thought it was much worse. He waved for help on the mound immediately after a pitch. Such a quick response usually signals the worst, and Lynch's description of the injury is not pretty.
“It felt like my arm was stretching out of the socket, going with the ball," Lynch said. "To feel all that, I was like, I can’t go any further. It was just kind of a shocking thing. I was so excited for the season."
The strain landed him on the IL to start the season, and there have been few updates about Lynch's progress.
There are some relievers with starting experience in Kansas City, but none are particularly enticing. Chances are, the team turns to their farm teams for a new rotation member. Who could the Royals call up to replace Bubic's spot in the rotation?