Bob Dutton just reported that, according to Dayton Moore, LHP Noel Arguelles – the second-most hyped Cuban defector of the 2009 offseason – is unlikely to pitch this year due to “shoulder soreness”.
Arguelles, 20, had been touted as equal to a first-round pick when he was being courted by Major League teams as an international free agent. His signing with the Royals is a testament to their new aggressiveness in the international market and was a surprise to many, as they signed him ahead of the Red Sox, Yankees, and others. The Royals hadn’t discussed his progression very much while he was in extended spring training but his first potential assignment was to start at Wilmington in Low A ball. He was more or less shut down, however, so the Royals are being very careful with their investment.
The diagnosis of “shoulder soreness” is vague, of course, and could just be an excuse to take things very slowly with his pitch counts in training. Or, and less pleasant, he could have some kind of arm injury that hasn’t been determined or that the Royals aren’t comfortable reporting yet. We’ll have to see. Arguelles wasn’t expected to contribute much anyway in the short-term, though this may slow his future debut in Kansas City by 6-12 months (my thoughts, but I’m no sports physician, mind you).
You can read Wally’s breakdown of Arguelles here, as he checks in at #9 in the Kings of Kauffman prospect rankings.