The Royals have designated reliever Seth Maness for assignment, tweets Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Maness’ 40-man spot will go to right-hander Luke Farrell, who will start the first game of the Royals’ doubleheader against the Twins on Saturday.
Prior to his designation, the 28-year-old Maness threw 9 2/3 innings with the Royals and surrendered a whopping 16 hits, but he somehow only allowed four earned runs. The soft-tossing right-hander has struggled even more this season at Triple-A, where he has logged a 9.77 ERA on 25 hits in 15 2/3 frames.
Although the 2017 campaign hasn’t gone well for Maness, it’s somewhat remarkable that he has even been able to take the mound at all. While with the Cardinals last August, Maness suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, but he managed to avoid undergoing Tommy John surgery. Maness instead opted for a newer “primary repair” surgery, one that came with a shorter recovery period, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed in January.
The Royals signed Maness in February, undoubtedly hoping he’d resemble the quality reliever he was in St. Louis. Maness was never a strikeout artist as a member of the Cardinals, with whom he punched out just 5.76 batters per nine innings from 2013-16, but he still pitched to a 3.18 ERA over 237 1/3 frames. Maness’ success came from limiting walks (1.76 per nine) and inducing ground balls at a 59.4 percent clip.
Farrell, 26, is the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell. The longtime skipper will miss Boston’s game Saturday to watch his son’s major league debut. Luke Farrell entered the pro ranks when the Royals chose him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. He’s now in his second season at Triple-A, where he has combined for a sub-4.00 ERA in 173 1/3 innings (including a 3.83 ERA, with 8.42 K/9 against 2.95 BB/9, in 82 1/3 frames this year).