SURPRISE, Ariz. — Life is happening fast for Kansas City Royals starter Brad Keller.
Last season at this time, Keller was a Rule 5 pick just looking to make a roster. Now, he'll throw the first pitch of the Royals' season.
"You dream of it as a kid," Keller said. "I always want to be the Opening Day guy. That would be awesome to be a No. 1 guy on a staff. It's pretty special to do that and for the team to have trust in you to go out there and start the season off on the right foot is really awesome."
Keller is manager Ned Yost's pick to start on Opening Day, a home game against American League Central foe Chicago. And Yost made sure to keep the young pitcher in suspense.
"(Yost) just called me in the office and Vance (Wilson) and Cal (Eldred) were in there," Keller said. "He said, 'Yeah we're 50-50 on it. Vance says no he wants you in the bullpen, and Cal wants you in the rotation'. So yeah they made a joke, but it was awesome."
Keller was one of the Royals' few bright spots last season on the mound. He led all Kansas City starters in earned run averages and was second on the team in wins despite only making 20 starts.