Candidates for Royals Fifth Starter

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The Kansas City Royals pitching rotation consist of four pitchers who are considered locks. Brad Keller and Jake Junis, the two right-handed pitchers. Along with two lefties in Mike Montgomery and Danny Duffy. Despite having four pitchers, they have a huge question mark around who will fill out the Royals fifth starter role. Last season, it was a revolving door of who would fill in at this role.

There are several candidates for the Royals Fifth Starter. From returning pitchers to young prospects set to make their Major-League debut this summer. With summer camp starting up, here are the names who could take the hill for the Royals in the 2020 season.

Glenn Sparkman

Sparkman pitching on the road in 2019.

Glenn Sparkman started 23 of his 31 appearances in 2019. He ended up with a 4-11 record with a 6.02 ERA. However, Sparkman did throw his first career shutout against the Chicago White Sox in a 11-0 win last July. During this outing, Sparkman only gave up 5 hits.

Sparkman back in Spring Training came out of the bullpen for all of his appearances which shows he may be making a move to the bullpen full time in 2020.

Jorge Lopez

In 2018, Jorge Lopez was traded to the Kansas City Royals along with OF Brett Phillips for IF Mike Moustakas. In 2018, Lopez started all 7 of his outings with the Royals. During these 7 starts, Lopez went 2-4 with a 6.35 ERA. However, against the Minnesota Twins that year, he threw 8 perfect innings before giving up a hit in the 9th. Lopez mowed down the first 24 Twins in order and sat at just 100 pitches heading into the ninth, three outs away from the first perfect game in Royals history.

In 2019, Lopez struggled mightily to say the least. He appeared in 39 games and started 18 of them. He went 4-9, with a 6.33 ERA. Lopez struggled with walks and finding his command as a starter during 2019. Lopez has shown promise as starter in his young career, but it seems he has been transitioning into the bullpen as of Spring Training like his counterpart Glenn Sparkman.

Brady Singer

Brady Singer pitching during Spring Training game.

Brady Singer was selected with the 18th pick back in the 2018 MLB Draft. In 2019 he played for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in Advanced-A ball. With the Blue Rocks, Singer went 5-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 10 starts.

After that, Singer was then quickly called up to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Over 16 starts with Northwest Arkansas, Singer went 7-3 with a 3.47 ERA, striking out 85 over ​90.2 innings.

During Spring Training, Singer impressed the coaching staff and was still in camp when baseball was shut down back in March. Singer seems big league ready. However, Singer is not on the 40-man roster. The Royals would have to open up a spot to add someone. Along with Singer are Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic who could also crack a roster spot. But, it seems Singer is ahead of the game to become the Royals fifth starter.

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