Doug Fister won’t be ready to return from DL when eligible

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When the Tigers placed Doug Fister on the disabled list with a costochondral strain both Fister and the team trainer said they thought he’d avoid the month-long absence that was needed when he had the same injury earlier in the season.

That may prove accurate, but in the meantime Fister won’t be ready to return from the DL when eligible Wednesday. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s suffered any kind of setback, but it does suggest a month-long absence is well within the realm of possibility.

Jason Beck of reports that Fister tested his strained side muscle by throwing Saturday, but the right-hander was sore Sunday and will give it another try later this week.

Because of an off day on the schedule this week the Tigers can basically just skip Fister’s normal turn in the rotation, but Drew Smyly and the “mushier and mushier” blister from hell could further complicate things for Detroit’s banged-up starting staff.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.