The Royals announced today that they’ve placed 40 percent of their starting rotation on the 15-day disabled list, with Chris Young going on the shelf due to a strained muscle in his forearm and Kris Medlen landing there due to a inflammation in his right rotator cuff. The Royals have recalled lefty Scott Alexander from Triple-A and also selected the contract of right-hander Peter Moylan from Triple-A, thus adding another member to their 40-man roster. (A 40-man vacancy was created earlier this week when prospect Raul Mondesi Jr. was suspended for 50 games due to a failed PED test.)
Indications last night were that Young may not require a full 15 days to allow his forearm to mend, but because he could require a week or more of rest, the Royals opted to DL him in order to avoid playing a man short for the next week. The outlook on Medlen is less certain, as there’s been no indication as to what type of timeline he is facing to return from his latest arm troubles. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star tweets that an update on his status is expected later this afternoon, though. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Dillon Gee will start this Saturday in Young’s place in the rotation, and he tweets that Sunday’s start will probably go to one of two lefties currently in the ’pen: Danny Duffy or Brian Flynn.
The 36-year-old Young inked a two-year, $11.5MM contract this offseason on the heels of a pair of strong years with the Mariners (2014) and Royals (2015). However, he’s been shockingly prone to the home run early in 2016, surrendering 13 long balls in just 32 1/3 innings en route to a 6.68 ERA. Young told Flanagan and others in the KC media earlier this week that he’s been experiencing some forearm discomfort since Spring Training, though primarily in between starts. However, it’s certainly plausible that the injury has been hampering him throughout his first six starts of the season.
As for Medlen, the 30-year-old is no stranger to arm injuries, having twice undergone Tommy John surgery in the past. However, this is the first time he’s landed on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury. Medlen is in the second season of a two-year, $8.5MM contract that also contains a mutual option for the 2017 season. To this point, he’s limped to a 7.77 ERA with more walks (20) than strikeouts (18) in 24 1/3 innings pitched. Medlen has completed six innings just once this season and has only thrown two innings in each of his past two starts.
The 37-year-old Moylan is a survivor of two Tommy John surgeries himself and made a return to the Major Leagues in 2015 for the first time since the 2013 campaign. He’s kicked off this season by allowing one earned run with a 10-to-5 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. Alexander, 26, made his big league debut with the Royals last season and tossed six innings in the Majors. He started the 2016 season in the bullpen at Omaha, where he’s allowed four runs with eight strikeouts against four walks in 14 innings. Lefties batted a miserable .152/.243/.163 in 103 plate appearances against him last year between the Majors and Triple-A.