Jordan Lyles pitched three innings with a broken hand

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Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles broke his non-pitching hand while covering the plate on a wild pitch in the first inning last night … and then the 23-year-old remained in the game to throw another three innings against the Diamondbacks.

Lyles was clearly in a lot of pain, but the training staff came out to examine him and let him remain in the game. Afterward he told Cody Uhm of MLB.com:

I knew something was wrong. I’ve never felt that feeling before. I didn’t want to come out during the first and make the bullpen throw nine. There was something wrong. I couldn’t catch the ball from the catcher.

Instead he stayed in the game long enough to allow four runs in what turned out to be a blowout loss at Coors Field. And now he’s headed to the disabled list, which is a shame because Lyles has pitched well this season with a 3.52 ERA and 49/26 K/BB ratio in 69 innings spread over 12 starts for the Rockies after being acquired from the Astros for Dexter Fowler this offseason.

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Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.