Manager Mike Matheny indicated on Friday that Kris Bubic will be moved to the bullpen after his struggles in the rotation.
#Royals manager Mike Matheny said today that Kris Bubic will be moved to the bullpen for the time being. He was going to be available there tonight.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) May 6, 2022
Matheny wasn't ready to announce what that means (or who) for that fifth starter's spot when it comes up in the rotation.
Bubic lasted just five batters on Wednesday against the Cardinals, getting just one out before he was lifted. In five starts, he has made it through five innings just once, and has been lifted in the first inning twice. He has pitched 12 1/3 innings with 11 walks and 18 runs allowed for an ERA of 13.14.
Brady Singer would be the most likely candidate to replace Bubic in the rotation after throwing five shutout innings on Thursday for Triple-A Omaha. He did throw some change ups in that start, some good, some bad.
Good Brady Singer changeup! pic.twitter.com/iaA3PMf2mh— Royals Farm Report (@RoyalsFarm) May 6, 2022
Jonathan Heasley would also be a candidate to come up after posting an ERA of 3.63 with 23 strikeouts and 4 walks in 23 innings. Heasley is scheduled to start tonight for Omaha against the Columbus Clippers. Other candidates could include Ronald Bolaños, Jackson Kowar, Foster Griffin, or Brad Peacock.
The Royals wouldn’t need to make a decision until Wednesday, when Bubic’s turn in the rotation would come up again in Texas. The game Friday against Baltimore has been postponed due to weather, and more bad weather is expected on Saturday with Carlos Hernández scheduled to start. The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday with Daniel Lynch and Zack Greinke scheduled to pitch, then an off day on Monday.
The decision to move him to the bullpen is a bit puzzling, as he would join a crowded parade of relievers as rosters still permit teams to carry up to 14 pitchers. Matheny was unable to find regular work for Singer when he was in the bullpen. The right-hander had to go to the minors to stretch his innings out to get him re-acclimated to starting. Bubic may benefit more from going down to Triple-A, working on his slider that he was working on in spring training but has since abandoned, and learning to hit his spot better.
Bubic has a 4.96 ERA in 192 1⁄3 innings over the last three seasons with the Royals, with 8.0 strikeouts and 4.3 walks-per-nine innings.
Who should replace Kris Bubic in the rotation?
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