Velocity loss leads to disabled list stint for Robinson Tejeda

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Earlier this week the Royals stripped Robinson Tejeda of his setup duties following some ugly outings and a disturbing loss of velocity.

Not surprisingly, today they placed him on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

While certainly not a good thing, the fact that they’ve identified an actual cause of the lost velocity and that cause isn’t a major injury probably qualifies as positive news, although Tejeda having shoulder problems last year as well makes it more of a concern than usual.

Either way, the Royals will now be counting on rookies Tim Collins and Jeremy Jeffress to hold leads in front of stud closer Joakim Soria.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.