Kris Medlen moving to the Royals rotation

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Anthony McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Kris Medlen will start on Monday against the Orioles, moving into Jeremy Guthrie’s rotation spot. Guthrie is headed to the bullpen after posting a 5.65 ERA over 23 starts.

Medlen has posted a 2.51 ERA and 14/5 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings in seven relief appearances. He missed all of 2014 following Tommy John surgery and made his first appearance in 2015 on July 20.

The Royals currently sport a thirteen and a half game lead in the AL Central. They can afford to experiment.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.