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Matheny names Keller Royals Opening Day starting pitcher

Royals Reds Baseball
Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-20 17:03:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Right-hander Brad Keller will take the mound first on Opening Day for the Kansas City Royals.

Royals manager Mike Matheny made the announcement Saturday ahead of the teams game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"He's our guy. I want him taking some ownership. He’s been there before. He did it as a very young pitcher and understood what it meant to throw that first game," Matheny said. "He’s got a couple other veterans there too, guys who’ve thrown well and deserve to throw it. But we believe that Brad can be that guy that helps lead this staff."

The season opener for the Royals is on April 1 against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.

Keller's start will mark his second as the Opening Day starting pitcher.

After Keller, the Royals rotation will be left-hander Mike Minor, right-hander Brady Singer and lefty Danny Duffy.

Keller posted a 2.47 earned run average (ERA), with five wins in his nine starts and ranked fifth in the American League in ERA in 2020.