From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that Royals closer Joakim Soria is unlikely to pitch in the final four games of the season due to a hamstring strain that he suffered last weekend.
Soria was able to play catch on flat ground Friday without feeling discomfort, but the Royals’ medical staff needs to see him to throw consecutive bullpen sessions before giving their clearance and he simply won’t have enough time to pull that off.
Soria, 27, posted a career-worst 4.03 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 60 relief appearances this year, striking out 60 batters in 60 1/3 innings while issuing 17 walks. He finished with only 28 saves and even lost a longtime nickname, albeit for the right reasons.
Cardinals right-handed reliever Greg Holland has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip impingement, per a team announcement on Saturday. In corresponding moves, catcher Carson Kelly (right hamstring strain) and lefty reliever Tyler Lyons (back strain) were activated from the disabled list, while catcher Steven Baron was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. The team has yet to reveal how long Holland is expected to be sidelined.
The 32-year-old reliever hasn’t looked quite himself this season, limping toward a 9.45 ERA, 10.1 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in just 13 1/3 innings of work. It’s a concerning departure from the sub-4.00 ERA and NL-leading 41 saves he posted with the Rockies in 2017, though a brief stay on the disabled list may help him iron out some of the issues that have prevented him from replicating those numbers in 2018. This is the first major injury he’s sustained since 2015, when he underwent surgery to repair a torn UCL in his pitching arm; he doesn’t appear to have a history of hip issues, either.
Lyons, 30, will slot back into the bullpen while Holland recovers. The left-hander landed on the 10-day disabled list in mid-May after pitching to a 6.17 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 across 11 2/3 innings — underwhelming results, to be sure, but nothing close to Holland’s career-worst output. Lyons saw mixed results in two rehab starts with Double-A Springfield earlier this month, allowing two runs on two hits and recording one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings.