David Buchanan, Domonic Brown question the tactics of Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg

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It’s a pretty common thing for starting pitchers to disapprove when they’re removed somewhat early from games, but these comments from Phillies right-hander David Buchanan feel especially pointed …

“It caught me off-guard honestly,” Buchanan told Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer after being lifted before the sixth inning of Saturday’s loss to the Cardinals. “I didn’t expect that and wasn’t too happy about that. I just do what I am told and go for as long as I can and unfortunately that was only five innings tonight but it definitely caught me off guard.”

Buchanan was only at 90 pitches when manager Ryne Sandberg pulled him, but he had allowed eight hits and two walks. The Phillies wound up having to use seven relievers in the 12-inning loss and will be short on rested arms for Sunday’s series finale with St. Louis.

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown also voiced his displeasure with a recent lack of playing time after being double-switched with Grady Sizemore in the seventh inning Saturday. Brown has started just 24 games since the beginning of July. “I am not out there every day so it’s kind of tough coming off the bench,” he said.

It’s much easier for a team to get along when it’s playing winning baseball. The Phillies are 57-72.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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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.