July 24, 2024

The City Royals have 4 gaping holes in their batting order…

“It’s exciting,” Bubic said. “You know, it’s never fun to get injured, and it’s a lot of work on the rehab side obviously. You never take the game for granted. And now, you are finally back in the position that I am in now. It’s a long journey, but I’m excited to be back and help the team win.

” Bubic steps into a different role with the Royals. He will operate as a reliever and provide length in the bullpen. The Royals weighed several options prior to Bubic’s return and ultimately made a difficult choice. In a corresponding move, KC optioned promising reliever Walter Pennington to Triple-A Omaha.

The Royals also designated veteran reliever Colin Selby for assignment. “(Bubic) had fulfilled the 60 days, plus the additional 30 (days) with the extension for Tommy John rehabs,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “So, we had a roster move to make with him.” Pennington made a strong first impression.

He retired two batters and picked up his first career strikeout against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. “Pennington had pitched the two previous days: one in Omaha and his debut last night,” Quatraro added. “We feel really good about where he is at and what he has done in the minor leagues. What he was able to do last night was a great experience.” Bubic will provide another left-handed arm in the bullpen.

He can pitch multiple innings. He posted a 2.63 ERA in nine appearances with the Omaha Storm Chasers. Still, it will be a different routine this time around. Bubic spent time on his in-game approach in order to handle the daily rigors of relief work.

He prepared by leaning on the bullpen coaches and figuring out the best adjustments for success. “I have a little bit of experience before, so it’s not completely foreign to me,” Bubic said. “It has been a few years, but like I said, at the end of the day it’s just pitching. Whatever inning you are throwing, it’s still the same game.

” Bubic did make a few key adjustments during rehab. Notably, he tinkered with his off-speed pitches. “I don’t want to give away too much, but I adjusted the breaking ball a little bit and I have a couple different fastballs now,” Bubic said. “It will be fun to see how it plays.” The Royals are expected to monitor Bubic’s workload. After 14 months post-surgery, Bubic will get a chance to appear in an MLB game again. His last regular-season appearance was on April 15, 2023. “He’s checked a ton of boxes along the way,” Quatraro said.

“That being said, we’re not going to run him out there three days in a row. We will try to get him in if we get him up, and those kinds of things, especially early. He has had 10 days out of the bullpen in the minor leagues. So we feel pretty confident that we can use him how we need to.”

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