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Royals option Kris Bubic to Triple-A

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He could still be in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation though.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Royals announced they have optioned left-handed pitcher Kris Bubic to Triple-A Omaha. The 23-year old lefty made ten starts for the Royals last year and impressed with a 4.32 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 50 innings.

The move most likely is to allow the Royals to carry an extra reliever to begin the year. The Royals have three off days in the first nine days of the regular season schedule, and won’t need a fifth starter until mid-April. Bubic can be recalled by then to join a rotation that will include Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, Mike Minor, and Brady Singer.

Bubic did struggle in spring training, giving up 14 hits and eight runs (seven earned) with four walks and four strikeouts in 7 13 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Jakob Junis, who was in the rotation last year and was competing for a spot in the rotation, looked impressive with his slider, giving up just one run and no walks in five innings and seven strikeouts.

The Triple-A season has been pushed back to May, so Bubic will report to the Alternate Site at Arvest Ballpark, home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, in April.