The bullpen can only go up from here, right? We all know the old Royals adage never to say that things can’t get worse. However, the Royals have posted a 7.27 ERA over five games and blown two leads past the 7th inning. Rany Jazayerli puts that into perspective.
The Royals have lost two games that they led after 7 innings in the last 18 hours.— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) April 3, 2019
The 2014-2015 Royals didn’t lose a single game they led after 7 innings for 15 months.
So yeah, things haven’t been great, and Buddy Bell’s words are always lingering in our heads. The bullpen could get worse. However, that seems unlikely. Rustin Dodd listed four ways that the Royals can solve their bullpen problem and he said this while speaking on patience.
Still, context is key: The sample size remains small, and six other clubs, including the Dodgers, Braves and Cubs, have bullpen ERAs above 6.00.
Context is always important. At this very moment, the six best Mariners from 2018 are playing in different uniforms and yet, Seattle sits at 7-1 and Tim Beckham is pacing the American League MVP race. That won’t continue.
The Royals bullpen is due for some positive regression, especially as Kyle Zimmer (hopefully) begins to play a more prominent role and as Richard Lovelady gets closer to the bigs.
With that being said, there is baseball to be played today, as the Royals open up their 2019 road slate with a short three-game trip to Detroit. The Royals will send Jakob Junis to the mound for the second time this season against a Tigers team that he thoroughly dominated in five starts last season. Junis logged a 1.95 ERA across 37 innings against the Tigers in 2018, winning four of his five starts.
He will be opposed by rookie Spencer Turnbull, getting the nod in Detroit’s home opener after a strong Spring Training.
Here are your lineups for today’s action, and wouldn’t you know, Chris Owings is back in the lineup. He will relieve a struggling Hunter Dozier at third, who has just one hit in his 13 at-bats this season.