It’s not happening under the best of circumstances, but the Royals are calling up one of their top pitching prospects to help their postseason efforts.
CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that Royals will call up prospect right-hander Yordano Ventura to start tomorrow night against the Indians. He’ll pitch in place of Danny Duffy, who was diagnosed with a “very mild flexor strain” following an MRI.
Ventura, 22, posted a 3.14 ERA and 155/53 K/BB ratio over 134 2/3 innings this season between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. While he’s listed at just 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, he’s capable of hitting 100 mph with his fastball.
Duffy, who is in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, hasn’t pitched since September 7. As Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star notes, the good news is that there’s no structural damage in his elbow. Still, it’s possible he’ll be shut down for the rest of the year at this point.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.