Hopefully, the Royals dodged a bullet in the form of a Justin Verlander fastball.
The game that was scheduled versus the Tigers was rained out and postponed until Monday, Sept. 24, officially ruining everyone’s TV watching and Twitter fun for tonight. In doing so, the three-game series turns into a two-game set in which Royals fans can only hope Jim Leyland decides to give his ace Verlander an extra day’s rest. Sadly at this time, Verlander is still scheduled to go for Wednesday.
A positive however is the extra days rest this rainout gives to a struggling rotation, and the flexibility it gives to the team as Mendoza can head back to the bullpen in a long-relief role, in preparation of Felipe Paulino making his season debut on Saturday.
Mendoza already figured to be the odd man out of the rotation when Paulino returned from the DL, but being able to push everyone back a day allows Ned Yost to keep Bruce Chen on his regular rest for Friday’s game, and not have to scramble to find someone to start on Thursday.
Paulino’s return scheduled for Saturday couldn’t have come at a better time. The Royals pitching so far this year has struggled to the tune of a 4.58 ERA (good for fifth worst in all of baseball, an all too familiar trend), and even though Paulino isn’t known for going deep into games, anyone that can give them quality innings by limiting contact at this point is much needed.
Sanchez was already pushed back a day for experiencing flu-like symptoms, so getting him another day to see if he can not only get healthy, but try and find a fix to the control issues that have plagued him so far this year, is much needed. He’s never been a control guy, but he’s never been this bad either. Sanchez will pitch Wednesday.
Duffy’s extra day couldn’t be better timed. Already having been skipped last Friday for experiencing “minor elbow tightness”, allowing Duffy to get as much non-mound throwing in as possible to work through his ailment is just what the doctor ordered.
For his start on Thursday Royals fans should watch closely because “elbow tightness” is never a phrase you want to hear in regards to one of your best pitchers.
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