The Royals just announced that left-hander Jason Vargas is headed back to the disabled list due to a recurrence of a left flexor strain.
Vargas struggled with a 5.26 ERA over his first five starts prior to his first stint on the disabled list in early May. He missed three weeks and posted a 2.25 ERA with an 11/1 K/BB ratio in 16 innings over three starts since returning, but apparently he’s still not feeling right.
Vargas was scheduled to start Sunday against the Cardinals, but Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star writes that Chris Young will move up a day to take his place. Meanwhile, Edinson Volquez will start Monday’s series opener against the Brewers before Joe Blanton will enter the rotation to start Tuesday. It’s worth noting that Yordano Ventura left last night’s start with irritation in his ulnar nerve, but Yost told McCullough that they don’t believe he’ll have to miss a start.
The Royals called up left-hander Brandon Finnegan to take Vargas’ spot on the active roster.
Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star is one of baseball’s best beat reporters in part because he often passes along stories like this one, about the time Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez tricked then-Rangers teammates Joaquin Benoit and Vicente Padilla out of $600:
One day during spring training in 2005, Rangers officials informed him he needed to shave his dreadlocks to conform to their minor-league policy. Volquez sensed an opportunity.
Earlier in camp, veterans such as Vicente Padilla and Joaquin Benoit scolded him about his hair. So Volquez asked Padilla, who was unaware of the team’s edict, how much he would pay for Volquez’s haircut. Padilla offered $300. Volquez balked, only to see Benoit double the bid.
“I was like ‘$600? I can do it for $600!’ ” Volquez said Monday, a day before he would face his old club at this stadium, now christened Globe Life Park in Arlington. “And I did it. I took the money, and I got my hair cut.”
Did he pay them back? Volquez shook his head and cackled.
Ending a story with a cackle is always a great idea.
And since I looked this up: Their respective career earnings are $33 million for Volquez, $39 million for Benoit, and $51 million for Padilla.
The Royals announced this afternoon that right-hander Yordano Ventura dropped the appeal of his seven-game suspension from MLB. He’ll begin serving it tonight.
Ventura was suspended for his part in instigating last Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl against the White Sox. He got the stiffest penalty of any of the players involved. Edinson Volquez (five games), Lorenzo Cain (two games), and Kelvin Herrera (two games) were also suspended for Kansas City while Chris Sale (five games) and Jeff Samardizja (five games) were suspended for Chicago.
Ventura initially appealed the suspension, so he was able to start against the Indians last night. It didn’t go so well, as he took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. He’ll now miss one turn in the rotation and will be eligible to return for the start of a three-game series against the Tigers next Friday.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon made a terrific catch in the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. With the Royals leading 3-0, Edinson Volquez began the sixth facing Micah Johnson. Johnson was late on a 93 MPH fastball, sending a fly ball down the left field line into the stands. Gordon could have let the ball drop, but instead he caught the ball with a leap and his momentum took him into the crowd. One fan in a White Sox jersey appeared to have taken the brunt of Gordon’s damage.
Gordon was also helpful on the offensive side of things, slugging a two-run home run in the fourth inning off of John Danks, but the Royals weren’t able to generate much offense otherwise. They lost 5-3 to the White Sox.