The Royals have placed left-hander Mike Minor on the 10-day injured list due to left shoulder impingement syndrome and recalled righty Scott Blewett from Triple-A Omaha, per a club announcement. Righty Carlos Hernandez is moving up in the rotation and starting tonight in Minor’s place. Left-hander Daniel Lynch will get the nod tomorrow.
Given the timing of the injury, it’s at least possible this will mark the end of Minor’s season. Minor’s placement on the IL is retroactive to Monday, so he could be back in about a week’s time, but there’d only be 12 days left in the season, at most, once Minor is eligible to return.
Minor, 33, revitalized his career as a reliever with the Royals back in 2017 — his first stint with the club. He signed a two-year, $18M contract with Kansas City this past offseason in hopes of doing so a second time, but he hasn’t been able to improve much upon last year’s 5.56 ERA.
To his credit, Minor has been a stabilizing presence in the Kansas City rotation and has been quite effective of late. He’s taken the ball 28 times this year and soaked up 158 2/3 frames, keeping the Royals from leaning too heavily on a collection of young arms whose workloads they’d hoped to closely monitor this season. And while Minor was struggling for much of the season’s first four months, he’d given the Royals a solid 3.78 ERA with a 21.2 percent strikeout rate and a brilliant 3.7 percent walk rate in 52 2/3 innings across his past nine outings. That type of output was likely just what the Royals hoped for in signing Minor, but because of his ugly start to the season, that recent streak has only dropped his ERA to 5.05.
Minor has become increasingly homer-prone in recent years, and his strikeout rate is also down from the past two seasons, although he’s counteracted that to an extent with one of his stingiest walk rates. Fielding-independent metrics like FIP, xFIP, xERA and SIERA all peg Minor in the 4.28 to 4.44 range, suggesting there’s some hope that he can continue to the solid run he put together late in the 2021 season next year — health permitting, of course. The Royals owe Minor $10MM in 2022 , and his contract also contains a $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout.