Ship ’em out of town, says Steve Phillips. Stephen Strasburg yielded two runs — one earned — over a brief five-inning start for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday night, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.
Strasburg gave up an unearned run in the top of the third inning — ending a scoreless streak of 20 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He gave up his first earned run in the fourth inning. All told, he threw 36 of 52 pitches for strikes while whiffing five and walking none.
Strasburg wasn’t perfect, but now owns a 0.39 ERA through his first four starts with Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 27/4 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings. The young phenom has a 0.99 ERA and 54/10 K/BB ratio over nine starts between Double-A and Triple-A.
Goessling speculates that there’s a small chance he could make his major league debut against the Padres this weekend, but still holds true to the more likely scenario of a debut at home against the Reds on Friday, June 4. Don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to be there.
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.