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Game thread LI: Astros at Royals

Bubic is back, baby!

Kris Bubic throws a pitch Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The worst team in baseball will take on the division-leading Astros this afternoon. Chances are that it will be a bloodbath. But at least there are a couple of interesting situations to keep an eye on.

  • Kris Bubic has returned from the minors and rejoined the rotation. The 24-year-old lefty was demoted after acquiring a 12.83 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance that totaled only 13.1 innings. Yikes. In his first time pitching at any level between single-A ball and the big leagues he made three starts with a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings. Yikes again. The good news is that he did at least strike out 17 while walking only four. Based on the quality of his stuff he will live and die as a professional pitcher on his ability to command and control his pitches.
  • Carlos Santana is getting his second straight game off and third consecutive day with the off-day of not playing. You have to think he’s getting close to being cut by the Royals in favor of the ever-hot Vinnie Pasquantino. But I’ve been saying that for weeks. It’s worth noting that if the Royals truly wanted to be kind to him, as they have been to so many other veterans, they would have cut him before Spring Training started and let some other team gamble in him finding his ability to hit again. All they’ve done is make sure everyone knows he definitely does NOT have it anymore so that no one else will even look at him twice.
  • Speaking of promoting Pasquantino, I just had the thought that maybe the Royals don’t want to promote Pasquantino over Pratto and they don’t think Pratto is quite ready. If they’re holding Pasquantino back solely because it might shake Pratto’s confidence then A.) That’s malpractice by the club (as if it wasn’t anyway...) and B.) they’d better hope they’re wrong because otherwise Pratto’s confidence is too fragile for him to become a successful big-leaguer.
  • Bobby Witt Jr. is still getting better and better, MJ Melendez still looks good offensively and gets another start in rightfield so Whit Merrifield can have a half-day. When the Royals do promote their hitting prospects this year, it’s gone very well. It’s going to be fun to see what Bobby can do to the league as he gets more and more comfortable. He already leads the team in doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases. Soon he might start pushing league leaders in some of those categories.