Rookie long reliever Kanekoa Texeira was placed on the 15 day DL this afternoon retroactive to yesterday with a right elbow strain. He’ll be able to return September 12.
In his place, the Royals activated reliever Robinson Tejeda from the DL after nearly a month on the shelf with a strained tendon in his right biceps.
Texeira hadn’t been pitching very well lately, compiling a 10.00 ERA over his last five appearances. In the 9 innings he’d pitched during that span, Texeira had given up 15 hits and walked another 5 batters. Two of those hits were homeruns. Prior to that, he’d pitched fairly well. On August 12, he’d dropped his ERA down to 3.96 after coming to the Royals in June with a 5.30 ERA in 16 appearances for Seattle. Texeira was claimed off waivers on June 3 when the Royals released Brad Thompson.
While he was expected to be activated when rosters expand in September, Tejeda will get a chance to come back a little bit early. Other than a dip in his strikeout rate (but also in his walkrate), Tejeda is having a nearly identical season to 2009, with a 3.42 ERA (and 121 ERA +) and 1.268 WHIP compared to last year’s 3.54 ERA and 1.262 WHIP. Tejeda had more innings in 2009, but he also made six starts in September after serving in a long relief role most of the season.
In a larger context, this allows the Royals to take some of the pressure off the younger relievers on the roster who’ve been filling in for Tejeda in late inning situations. Jesse Chavez, acquired in the deadline trade with the Braves, has given up two walk-off homers since joining the Royals. After a strong first month in the big leagues, Blake Wood struggled as the eighth inning guy for Ned Yost in June and has only recently started regaining some momentum. His 3.8 K/9 rate doesn’t fit a set up man’s profile, though he’s been more effective in the last two weeks in that role, and struck out the side today against Cleveland on 11 pitches. Tejeda can fill that role and let others pitch in more fitting situations.