From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was removed from Saturday’s game against the Mariners because of a sprained right knee that he suffered on a diving defensive play in the first inning.
The Royals don’t seem overly concerned about the injury, but “Moose” seems likely to sit out of Sunday’s series-finale with Seattle as a precautionary measure. He was 0-for-1 on Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field before being replaced at third base by Yuniesky Betancourt.
Moustakas, 23, is batting .262/.317/.461 with 16 home runs and 50 RBI in 95 games played this season.
UPDATE, 7:49 PM: Dutton reports that Moustakas will undergo an MRI on Sunday morning.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.