Will encore last longer than his big league debut for Will Klein?

Kansas City has recalled a talented reliever.
Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

April 25 has to be one of the big highlights of KC Royals pitching prospect Will Klein's short professional career. Picked by Kansas City in the 2020 amateur draft, but kept out of action until 2021 by the pandemic, Klein found himself in the majors that April day when the Royals called him up.

His first trip to the big leagues didn't last long, however. Klein pitched only once, a nice one-inning, two-strikeout, scoreless stint against Detroit April 28, before the club returned him to Triple-A Omaha a day later.

Today, he's getting another shot at the majors. The Royals have announced his recall, so he should be available tonight when they open a three-game home series with San Diego at 7:10 p.m. CDT.

As long as he pitches well, don't be surprised if his encore lasts longer than his debut.

Will Klein's call-up doesn't look like a short-term move

Calling Klein back to the majors probably isn't a cup of coffee-type move for Kansas City. Some might think he's with the club only until Brady Singer recovers from the illness that forced the club to recall Daniel Lynch IV and start him in Singer's spot Thursday. If that was the case, though, Lynch likely would have remained in Kansas City, and Klein is a reliever, not a starter.

More likely is that Klein's performance this season convinced the Royals to give him an extended look in their bullpen. He lowered his already-low ERA to 1.93 with a scoreless inning against Indianapolis Wednesday, and is 2-0 in 21 games with 23 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. He's allowed one of the three runs he's inherited to score.

Walks, a career nemesis of Klein's, are a different story — he's issued 14 free passes for a 14.7 BB% and 5.40 BB/9,

Klein, Kansas City's 18th-best prospect per MLB Pipeline, may also be a strong candidate to replace someone in the Royals' bullpen. While James McArthur, John Schreiber and Ángel Zerpa have solid claims to long-term seats, and Will Smith is probably safe until trade deadline time, Chris Stratton gave the Twins four runs in only two-thirds of an inning Thursday and has an ugly 6.00 ERA.

Ultimately, though, how long Klein stays with the Royals this time is largely a function of how he pitches.

More about the KC Royals from Kings of Kauffman