Aaron Gleeman

Danny Duffy

Royals get left-hander Danny Duffy back from disabled list


Kansas City’s injury wrecked rotation just got a little healthier, as the Royals activated left-hander Danny Duffy from the disabled list after he missed a month with biceps tendinitis.

Duffy struggled before being shut down, posting a 5.87 ERA in eight starts, but he had a 2.53 ERA in 149 innings last year in his first full season back from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Royals starters Yordano Ventura and Jason Vargas remain on the disabled list, but journeymen Chris Young and Joe Blanton have done a remarkably good job filling in.

Astros sign No. 2 overall draft pick Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman

Houston has agreed to terms with LSU shortstop and No. 2 overall draft pick Alex Bregman, according to Mark Berman of MyFOXHouston.com.

Last year the Astros failed to sign No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken, so they received the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft as compensation and selected Bregman. In three years at LSU he hit a combined .334 with 21 homers, 65 steals, more walks than strikeouts, and a .921 OPS in 166 games.

Baseball America rated Bregman as the fourth-best prospect in the draft class, calling him “one of the safest picks” because “scouts are nearly unanimous that he should at the worst be a productive big league middle infielder.”

Obviously the Astros are betting on him being an impact player, but either way he should move through the farm system quickly and could be in Houston at some point next season. Where he’ll play is less certain, because the Astros have their long-term double-play duo in All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve and stud shortstop prospect Carlos Correa.

The recommended slot value for the No. 2 pick is $7.4 million.

Mariners’ “best-case scenario” for James Paxton’s return is August

James Paxton

Mariners left-hander James Paxton has been on the disabled list since late May with a strained middle finger and it sounds like he’s not close to returning.

Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Paxton has yet to begin a throwing program–which means he’d likely need lots of time to build back his arm strength and pitch count–and “even a best-case scenario suggests a return before August is optimistic.”

Paxton has had trouble staying off the disabled list since debuting for the Mariners in 2013, but the 26-year-old former top prospect has pitched well when healthy with a 3.05 ERA in 27 career starts.