Royals tab rookie Bubic to make MLB debut in home opener

In a season that has already seen Royals right-hander Brady Singer make his major league debut in a starting role and left-hander Foster Griffin earn a win in his major league debut in relief, another rookie pitcher will make his first big league appearance in a prominent manner.

The Royals announced Thursday that left-hander Kris Bubic, another member of the club’s talent-laden 2018 pitching draft class, will start their home opener Friday. It will be his MLB debut.

Bubic, 22, pitched for Class A Lexington and Class A (Advanced) Wilmington last season, where he led all minor leaguers with 185 strikeouts. He will make the jump to the majors after impressing in spring training and summer camp prior to the start of baseball’s 60-game season.

The Royals are looking at their promising young arms with several projected starters unavailable. Brad Keller and Jakob Junis are on the injured list as they work to return from positive COVID-19 tests, while Mike Montgomery is on the IL after one start with a strained lat muscle.

Singer struck out seven batters while getting a no-decision in the Royals’ 3-2 win over Cleveland on Saturday. He was scheduled to make his second start Thursday night in Detroit. Griffin picked up the win Monday in Detroit, though he had to leave the game after 1 2/3 innings with a left forearm strain.