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f14" name="6f14">Even after his incredible rookie season (3.6 WAR, 3.08 ERA, 96 SO), the decision to start Brad Keller on Opening Day came as surprise. Given their experience, most were expecting LHP Danny Duffy or RHP Ian Kennedy to start Opening Day.
"It’s exciting," Duffy told the Kansas City Star. "I’ve been saying this all spring, he’s our best pitcher. He deserves it." Keller also won the approval of Golden Glover Salvador Perez, who told the Star, "Seriously, I think he’s a №1 this year."
With Duffy recording his worst ERA since his rookie year (4.88), and Kennedy plagued with an oblique injury in 2018, the focus for Kansas City in moving forward is the young pitchers and the rebuild. According to the veteran Royals, Brad Keller is a vital building block for future of the franchise.
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