Royals RHP Jakob Junis Hits the IL

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis (65) in 2019. Photo by Richard Ulreich/CSM/Shutterstock (10248351h)

The Kansas City Royals added right-handed pitcher Jakob Junis to the injured list on Monday, meaning that they will be without one of their scheduled rotation staples at the beginning of the season.

Junis, who had tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month and joined Royals camp late, has been unable to get into pitching shape in time for Opening Day.

While he is not technically injured, Junis was added to the list in order to free up another roster place for Kansas City as he gets his arm strength and pitch count in simulated games back up.

The Arkansas native has been a fixture in Kansas City’s rotation during each of the past three seasons, in which he has compiled a 27-29 record along with a 4.69 ERA.

When he is ready to go this season, he will be looking to have a comeback season after a 2019 season in which he put up his worst numbers in the Big Leagues. The righty’s ERA eclipsed the 5 mark and he put up a 9-14 record in a dismal season for the Royals.

If he doesn’t suffer any further setbacks, Junis is expected to join his team’s rotation in early August.