'Starting to fatigue,' Junis may be shut down

September 17th, 2019

OAKLAND -- Royals right-hander may have made his final appearance of 2019.

Royals manager Ned Yost conveyed his belief that Junis, 27, has nothing to gain by continuing to pitch this season. The recent returns on Junis’ efforts certainly have been diminishing. In five outings since he made his last quality start, a 6 1/3-inning, three-run stint against the Mets, he has compiled a 1-3 record with an 8.03 ERA. On Sunday against Houston, Junis yielded five earned runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

“He’s making mistakes now, and they’re getting hit a long way,” Yost said.

Junis entered Monday having made 31 starts, tying him for the American League lead.

Yost indicated that he’d regard the situation differently “if I still felt that he was on top of his game. But he’s starting to fatigue out a little bit.”

Last month, the Royals shut down right-hander Brad Keller to prevent him from overtaxing his arm.

Winning’s sweet

Yost was enthused over the organization’s postseason success in the Minor Leagues. Four affiliates -- Class A Advanced Wilmington, Class A Lexington, Rookie-level Idaho Falls and the Royals’ Dominican Summer League entry -- all won league championships.

“We talked about putting the organization back in a good spot; every day we’re getting closer and closer,” Yost said. “That’s great news for our future -- getting the organization back to a point where they can compete for another world championship. ... It’s going to be fun to watch the next three and four and five years.”

In praise of Bochy

Yost joined the chorus of managers paying tribute to their San Francisco Giants counterpart, Bruce Bochy, who’s retiring after the season.

Yost said that he regards Bochy with “the highest form of respect. He’s just a fantastic manager. One of the highlights of my career was managing against him in the World Series, a great World Series in 2014.” The Giants outlasted the Royals in seven games to win that Fall Classic.

Yost entered Monday with 1,199 managerial victories in 15 seasons; Bochy is two short of 2,000 wins in 25 seasons.

“I’m knocking on the door of 1,200, and he’s at 2,000. That’s another 800 wins,” Yost said. “Holy cow! It just blows my mind, what he’s been able to accomplish.”