Brad Keller entered this season as the unquestioned ace of a Royals staff that looked, on paper, to be a budding strength. And it was well earned. In the 360.1 innings he has pitched in since he was brought to Kansas City in the Rule 5 Draft, Keller has posted a 131 ERA+. His 82 ERA- is only bested by four Royals starters in franchise history.
But thus far in 2021, it has been a totally different story. After giving up five runs in the first inning on Opening Day, he struggled again in the first inning, giving up three runs, this time all with two outs.