KC Royals pitcher Will Klein had a perfect MLB debut Sunday

Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The KC Royals dropped two out of three games in Detroit this weekend while looking overmatched against Tigers starter Tarik Skubal on Sunday. Kansas City took a quick one-run lead but fell 4-1 in the series finale. The rubber match loss shouldn't overshadow some positives in Sunday's game. One such bright spot was Will Klein's MLB debut and a perfect one at that.

KC Royals pitcher Will Klein pitched a spotless inning in his MLB debut.

Klein pitched the bottom of the 8th inning, with Kansas City's comeback hopes dwindling. The righty did everything he could though to keep the Royals competitive. He faced Detroit's 7-8-9 hitters, a stretch that troubled Chris Stratton the night before. Klein made short work of his opponents and needed only 13 pitches to induce a groundout and strike out two other batters.

Klein recorded a 98.1 MPH fastball against Zach McKinstry, a swinging strikeout for his first MLB punchout. He also became the first Royals pitcher not named Cole Ragans to throw a pitch over 98 MPH this season. That 70-grade fastball is Klein's calling card, but his controlling it made him a viable major-league player.

Royals manager Matt Quatraro praised Klein after his promotion to The Show.

“He’s got big stuff,” Quatraro said to MLB.com's Anne Rogers. “Upper 90s, 100 mph, two good breaking balls. Really the little bit that I got to be around him, it was more about the fearlessness he has to believe he belongs out there. He can be elite. He’s got good pitch characteristics, two breaking balls, with that velo. He needs to be in the zone, but he’s also the kind of guy who can get [opponents to] chase.”

Klein had a strong spring training showing, giving him an outside shot at the big-league roster. As a non-roster invite, he struck out eight batters in 4 2/3 innings of work, limited the opposition to a .125 batting average and two hits. He started 2024 with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers and made nine appearances for them. He pitched 11 shutout innings with 12 strikeouts in that span, recording three saves.

He is everything Kansas City needs for a depth bullpen arm right now. His performance says he deserves to stay with the big-league club, as he provides Kansas City with a powerful right-handed reliever. We will see how long the Tennessee native stays in Kansas City, but he did everything right for the club on Sunday.

More from Kings of Kauffman