KC Royals Roster: Trying to solve the rotation puzzle

Kansas City has been busy improving its pitching. Who might make up the 2024 rotation?

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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The first 3 spots in KC's 2024 rotation seem easy to predict

It’s probably safe to say that eight pitchers — Ragans, Lugo, Wacha, Singer, Lynch, Bowlan, Bubic, and Lyles — are vying for 2024 starting roles. All share a similar trait: they generate a lot of ground balls. 

Ragans will likely compete with Wacha and Singer for the Opening Day start. Ragans was worth 2.4 bWAR this year, mostly due to his 12 Kansas City starts. Although he pitched only 71.2 innings after coming to the Royals, he was dominant with a 2.64 ERA, 11.18 K/9, and 1.074 WHIP. 

Wacha should be familiar to Kansas City fans. He's been pitching in the majors for 11 seasons, most of them with St. Louis. Although he's struggled to prove he’s an innings eater, he does a great job of keeping balls in the park, which will go a long way with the Royals. Wacha could find himself the starter on Opening Day due to his experience.

Its hard to believe Singer hasn’t won the Opening Day job before. He’s been the one pitcher from the 2018 draft class who's developed into a "name" at this point in his career, but since he broke into the majors in 2020, the subsequent Opening Day assignments have fallen to Brad Keller and twice to Zack Greinke.

Singer has been up and down in KC, and this year was not his best season. His WHIP, BB%, and H9 were all up and he finished the season with 0.3 bWAR. But he can be good, and some offseason work on his groundball producing pitches might be what he needs to earn that Opening Day slot.