Facing two off days in the span of five days, Royals manager Ned Yost will tweak his starting rotation in advance of an important home series against the Cleveland Indians.
Yost confirmed Tuesday that the club will push back rookie starter Jakob Junis, opting for veterans Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas and Jason Hammel against the Indians.
Kennedy will start Friday against Corey Kluber in the series opener at Kauffman Stadium. Vargas will start opposite Trevor Bauer on Saturday. Hammel will toe the rubber in the finale against Danny Salazar.
The Royals entered Tuesday five games behind the Indians in the American League Central. The club has another day off on Monday, which could allow for more rotation juggling. Yost said that Junis will likely be slotted in to start against the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series that begins on Tuesday.
Junis, 24, is 2-0 in his last two starts, allowing just three earned runs in 14 innings. He replaced the injured Trevor Cahill in the starting rotation Monday night in Oakland. Junis would have been slated to start on Sunday against the Indians.
He’s 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA for the Royals this season while splitting time between Class AAA Omaha and the major leagues. Junis posted a 6.35 ERA while filling in as the club’s fifth starter for most of June.