KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have not been afraid this season to promote their young pitchers. And that boldness has not been lost on the veteran players, including super-utility man Whit Merrifield.
“I love seeing it,” Merrifield said. “As a player, it shows what the front office’s view is. It’s not about service-time manipulation. It’s all about who gives us the best chance to win. It’s super refreshing to see that. It’s why we love [general manager] Dayton [Moore].”
Merrifield also believes that young pitchers such as Brady Singer and Tyler Zuber, who have made their MLB debuts this season, warranted promotions from talent alone. And that goes for left-hander Kris Bubic as well. Bubic made his MLB debut on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium against the White Sox.
Bubic scattered three hits and struck out three during his four-inning debut, allowing three runs (two earned) on an Adam Engel home run in the second inning.
“Brady has had two good starts and given us a chance to win in both,” Merrifield said. “Actually, we won both. All we can ask for from a starting pitcher is to give us a chance to win. He’s done that.
“For a rookie, in his first two starts, that’s pretty impressive.
“And Zuber has been really good in two of his three times out. It’s a learning curve being up here, and he’ll get it. I think he learned a lot from that [shaky] second outing. He has great stuff and pounds the zone. That’s what you like [about] him.”
What really has impressed Merrifield is the fearlessness Singer and Zuber have displayed.
“Brady is a lot like [Brad] Keller,” Merrifield said. “They throw strikes. They work quickly. They rely on contact. Brady might be able to strike more guys out. Keller is my favorite guy to play behind because he keeps the ball in play. They challenge guys. I love seeing that.”
To make room for Bubic on the 30-man roster, the Royals moved right-hander Jorge López to the bereavement/family medical emergency list.
The Royals also placed left-hander Foster Griffin on the 45-day injured list with a strained left forearm.
"He's stuck to his word. Not only from the moves he makes, but you can just see it in his eyes, in the way he talks, every day when we're at the field. He expects to win every day. I love playing for the man.” -- Merrifield, on playing for new manager Mike Matheny