Phillies getting Happ back tomorrow, but lose Park for 'a while'

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J.A. Happ is now slated to rejoin the Phillies’ rotation tomorrow against the Braves after testing his oblique injury with a 20-pitch bullpen session yesterday. Happ, who came out of relative nowhere to go 8-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 19 starts as a 26-year-old rookie, has missed back-to-back turns in the rotation.
On the other hand, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel speculated yesterday that Chan Ho Park “is probably going to be down a while” because of a hamstring injury. Park has been a key member of the bullpen since being dumped from the rotation in mid-May, logging 49 innings with a 2.57 ERA, 52/16 K/BB ratio, and .235 opponents’ batting average as a reliever. His availability for the postseason may be in doubt.
And while we’re on the subject of the Phillies’ pitching staff, consider this stat: Since joining Philadelphia’s rotation Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez have combined to go 12-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 94/15 K/BB ratio in 101.2 innings spread over in 16 starts.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.