Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar has been shut down for at least two weeks with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
McCullough reports that “the team hopes he returns by the end of May,” which suggests it could be a more serious injury. UCLs are the ligaments that lead to Tommy John surgery and 12-month recovery timetables when torn.
After years of disappointing as a starter Hochevar shifted to the bullpen last season with a ton of success, throwing 70 innings with a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio. By comparison, he has a 5.44 ERA in 128 career starts.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.