After the tragic death of young star Yordano Ventura in late January, the Royals found themselves in dire need of starting pitching depth. They signed both Jason Hammel and Travis Wood in February, with the latter expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. And while Karns was acquired from the Mariners weeks prior to Ventura’s passing, he too gained increased importance in the battle for the roster spot. After a strong spring thus far, Karns will open the season as Kansas City’s No. 5.
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