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Skoglund patiently waiting for first start Tuesday

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

CLEVELAND -- One of these days, left-hander Eric Skoglund will get to start a game this season.

Skoglund was inserted into the rotation when the Royals put right-hander Nate Karns on the disabled list right before Opening Day. That was over a week ago, but because of snowouts, Skoglund's starts keep getting pushed back.

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CLEVELAND -- One of these days, left-hander Eric Skoglund will get to start a game this season.

Skoglund was inserted into the rotation when the Royals put right-hander Nate Karns on the disabled list right before Opening Day. That was over a week ago, but because of snowouts, Skoglund's starts keep getting pushed back.

View Full Game Coverage

As of now, Skoglund is set to start on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium against the Mariners. Here's the other issue: Skoglund hasn't even pitched in a game in over two weeks, and that was in a Minor League game toward the end of Spring Training.

"Fifteen days, I think," Skoglund said, smiling.

Skoglund's last Cactus League game was 20 days ago. He has tried to stay sharp by throwing bullpen sessions, as he did Monday in Detroit.

"You just have to survive," said Skoglund, the Royals' No. 8 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. "It's not that bad honestly. It's just all part of it. I understand my role. I don't mind it at all. It could be a lot worse."

True, Skoglund was somewhat of a surprising selection to the Opening Day roster, considering the Royals' rotation appeared set throughout spring camp, at least before the Karns injury (elbow inflammation) became known.

So Skoglund, who had a 9.50 ERA in seven outings for the Royals last season, simply is thrilled to have made it on the roster.

"I can't complain at all," he said. "It's night and day how I feel compared to last year. The boys here have been so helpful. I've learned so much just watching how the veterans do their routines. I'm learning, I hope, what it takes to be successful."

The Royals' faith in Skoglund, 25, hasn't wavered, even after some rough outings in 2017. One brutal outing happened to be here at Progressive Field when he gave up seven hits and seven runs in 1 1/3 innings in a start on Aug. 27.

It's a memory Skoglund is eager to flush.

"I know what I'm capable of," he said. "I wish I could pitch here again. I felt like I let the team down. That drove me in the offseason because I felt I let them down.

"But it's night and day with my confidence compared to last year. I was a little banged up at the end of last season. I just feel so much better this year.

"I'm just ready to go whenever they need me," Skoglund said. "I trust in my abilities."

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

Kansas City Royals, Eric Skoglund