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Brad Keller to start Opening Day

PLUS VIDEO INTERVIEWS OF BRAD KELLER AND CHRIS OWINGS

Cody Tapp
March 12, 2019 - 1:00 pm
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Cody’s Corner

 

Royals name their Opening Day starter

Brad Keller gets the nod the Royals and that shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone. They only man that stood in his way was Jakob Junis and Keller’s performance last year coupled with moxie made Ned comfortable putting him in that role.

 

 He jumped out early last year in the bullpen and once he was thrust into the starter role he continued to shine.

He posted a 9-6 record and stood out with a 3.08 ERA.

Still he only has 20 career starts and is still getting the nod which is impressive that Ned, who is protective of veterans, feels confident that Brad Keller can handle the job.

Here is Keller on the honor...

Ned Yost several times has mentioned how comfortable and unflappable seems on the mound and that has been noticed.

I will update this later with what Ned have to say about the decision tomorrow but the rainout meant we only has a chance to catch Brad Keller today.

 

Here are a few notes to keep you warm after the rainout today…

These things stood out today for the Royals today as we had a long conversation today with manager Ned Yost this morning. Here are five things that stood out.

 

1. Ian Kennedy is still being considered for a bullpen start although Ned said as of today he would still be in rotation. He did say that earlier in camp that the health of Danny Duffy and how Kennedy performs in spring will play a factor.

 

2. Ned says Whit being in RF for three consecutive days doesn’t mean anything. I am skeptical of that because of how slow the RF options have started and the solid start from Chris Owings but Ned seemed pretty adamant that it was just moving guys around.

 

3. Ned said Duffy is still throwing on flat ground right now but Danny said he threw off the mound three days ago. Danny went as far to say that he felt better at this point than he was expecting but they are taking it slow. He hopes to break camp with the team but know extened Spring Training is possible

 

4. Ned still says he is working under the idea of aa high leverage bullpen over roles but admits it is still hard to think of a bullpen that way. Still says an opener isn’t something he works with right now and still looks as starters in their traditional role…for now.

 

5. It probably doesn’t mean anything but he did say Hamilton’s current on base percentage in spring makes him interesting at the top of the order. My guess is that this is just posturing because Whit and Mondesi make too much sense at the top. Salvy being out of the middle of the lineup could make it more interesting but Hamilton would really need to exceed his career .298 OBP to really consider it.

 

I did get to have a longer conversation with Chris Owings as well. He has been off to a nice start to spring and Ned said this is the player they were expecting when they acquired him. Owings himself is happy with the way he spring has started.

 

I do think they plan will still be to move him around a lot and Whit will do some of that for the Royals as well.

 

For more on this and everything Royals follow us at 610sports.com

 

Cody Tapp

Twitter: @codybtapp

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