The Royals finally use the disabled list again

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But, don’t worry, it’s just for Chris Getz.

The major criticism with the Royals’ decision to buy and not sell at the trade deadline was that they did nothing to address the black hole in their lineup at second base. Now they’ll be forced to try something a little different after Getz suffered a sprained knee in a collision with Adam Dunn over the weekend. Getz was hitting just .209/.280/.281 with one homer and 14 RBI in 153 at-bats on the season.

Remarkably, it’s only the second time the Royals have used the disabled list since Opening Day. It’s truly a remarkable run of health, though it hasn’t led to a better-than-expected record at 53-51. Reserve outfielder Jarrod Dyson was the only other player to go on the DL; he missed a month with a sprained ankle in the first half. They also had pitchers Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy start off on the 60-day DL after both underwent Tommy John surgery last year.

Getz’s exit makes room for the newly acquired Justin Maxwell on the Royals’ roster, Johnny Giavotella is on the shelf in Triple-A, so he wasn’t a candidate to replace Getz right now. There wasn’t room for him anyway with the Royals carrying five outfielders. They’ll go with Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada at second base.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.