MRI exam on Lilly's knee comes back clean

Leave a comment

Ted Lilly’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery hit a snag earlier this week when his right knee began hurting, but an MRI exam yesterday revealed no structural damage and instead merely showed what MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat calls “normal wear and tear.”
Lilly felt good enough to play catch this morning and assistant general manager Randy Bush assured everyone that “there’s nothing to worry about.” With his knee, of course. His shoulder remains an issue, because even before the knee problems he was considered questionable at best to be ready for Opening Day.
Next in line for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation? In no particular order, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, and Carlos Silva, assuming that Tom Gorzelanny has the fourth-starter gig all but locked up.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.