The Brewers made no changes to their 25-man postseason roster heading into Sunday’s NLCS Game 1. The Cardinals were a littler bit busier.
According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, the Cardinals have added right-handed relievers Kyle McClellan and Lance Lynn for the NLCS while dropping Skip Schumaker and Jake Westbrook.
Lynn is finally recovered from a severe oblique strain that cost him the final two months of the regular season, and McClellan is over the dead arm phase that plagued him in late September. Schumaker strained his oblique during Friday night’s thrilling Game 5 victory over the Phillies and probably won’t be available even if the Cardinals advance to the World Series. Westbrook, a starter during the regular season, was not used once in the NLDS.
Asked why he opted not to add a position player (like Tyler Greene) in place of Schumaker, Cards manager Tony La Russa told reporters that he’s aiming to neutralize Milwaukee’s dangerous right-handed bats.
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.