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Keller ready for first MLB start against Twins

Royals righty will throw 55-60 pitches as he shifts from bullpen
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- As Royals right-hander Brad Keller transitions back to being a starter, the assumption might be that he will pace himself to get through his 55-60 pitch limit.

Not the case. Keller, who will make his first Major League start for the Royals on Wednesday, said he won't be holding back.

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KANSAS CITY -- As Royals right-hander Brad Keller transitions back to being a starter, the assumption might be that he will pace himself to get through his 55-60 pitch limit.

Not the case. Keller, who will make his first Major League start for the Royals on Wednesday, said he won't be holding back.

View Full Game Coverage

"[Reliever] Blaine Boyer said to just treat every inning like it's the eighth inning," Keller said. "He said to just go attack. That's what I'll do."

Keller is starting in place of left-hander Eric Skoglund, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained elbow.

As a reliever for the Royals this season, Keller, a Rule 5 Draft pick, has been phenomenal, posting a 2.01 ERA.

Starting, though, is in Keller's blood. He made 26 starts for the D-backs' Double-A team in Jackson, Miss., going 10-9 with a 4.68 ERA.

"He's not afraid to just go get early-count outs," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That should keep his pitch count low.

"He's got a good two-seamer, a good four-seamer that cuts, good changeup. He's got two fastballs that go the opposite way. He'll be fine."

Keller said he won't have trouble sleeping on Tuesday night.

"It's something I've done before, obviously," Keller said. "I won't be over-excited."

Bo will rep Royals at Draft
Former outfielder Bo Jackson will represent the Royals at Monday's MLB Draft, one of 21 former All-Stars who will represent their former clubs at the event.

Royals area scout Colin Gonzales also will represent the club.

The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Monday at 6 p.m. CT. Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 5 p.m. CT. The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. The 2018 Draft will span three days, as it has since 2009. For day one on June 4th, Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A will air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Beginning with the first pick in Round 2 and continuing through overall pick No. 78, the Draft will air live exclusively on MLB.com, while MLB Network will continue to provide live look-ins and coverage of the Draft on MLB Tonight. The intervals between selections during round one will last four minutes, followed by one-minute intervals between selections for the remainder of day one.

The Draft will resume at noon on Tuesday, June 5, when selections will be made for rounds 3-10, with one minute intervals between selections. Day three of the Draft on Wednesday, June 6 will begin at 11 a.m. CT, featuring picks in rounds 11-40, with no time delay between selections.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Brad Keller