According to their transaction page, the Royals placed starting pitcher Jakob Junis on the Injured List for undisclosed reasons on Sunday, making him ineligible to return until next Wednesday. The Royals open the season Friday in Cleveland. Junis was set to be in the starting rotation, but will have to miss his first start.
The Royals did get a boost to the rotation when Brad Keller was cleared to rejoin the team after a positive test for the coronavirus. Still, Keller will have to slowly ramp up, and will likely be limited to around 60 pitches in his first outing back. Danny Duffy, who has been named the Opening Day starter, and Mike Montgomery are considered locks for the rotation. With Junis out, the odds of rookie Brady Singer making the rotation should improve considerably after a strong performance in spring training and summer camp. Foster Griffin, Glenn Sparkman, Jesse Hahn, and Jorge López are other candidates to start. With rosters expanding to 60, the Royals could also look to piggyback starters, or have a game featuring only relievers.
Junis is in his fourth season and was 9-14 with a 5.24 ERA and 4.82 FIP in 31 starts last year for a 1.0 WAR season, according to Baseball Reference.
11:20 a.m. update:
The Royals announce RHP Jakob Junis has been placed on the IL to allow him to continue to prepare for the 2020 season. Here’s his statement: pic.twitter.com/Fl5PzSIPI7— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) July 20, 2020