Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is doing some fine side work in his new long relief role …
That taunting nod at the end was spectacular. “Play the ball, son. Don’t let the ball play you.”
Anthony McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Kris Medlen will start on Monday against the Orioles, moving into Jeremy Guthrie’s rotation spot. Guthrie is headed to the bullpen after posting a 5.65 ERA over 23 starts.
Medlen has posted a 2.51 ERA and 14/5 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings in seven relief appearances. He missed all of 2014 following Tommy John surgery and made his first appearance in 2015 on July 20.
The Royals currently sport a thirteen and a half game lead in the AL Central. They can afford to experiment.
Right-hander Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his Royals debut Friday against the Blue Jays in Toronto after being acquired from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed.
Cueto made his final start for the Reds on Saturday, shutting out the Rockies for eight innings at Coors Field, so his first start for the Royals will come on one extra day of rest than normal.
Cueto has a 2.62 ERA and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 131 innings this season, posting a sub-3.00 ERA for the fifth straight year. Among all pitchers with at least 100 starts since 2011 only Clayton Kershaw has a lower ERA than Cueto’s mark of 2.51.
As for who’s leaving the Royals’ rotation to make room for Cueto’s arrival, manager Ned Yost says he’s not sure yet if it’ll be Jeremy Guthrie or Chris Young.