Bronson Arroyo‘s comeback bid with the Nationals just took a big hit, as the rehabbing right-hander was scratched from today’s scheduled start with shoulder soreness.
Arroyo is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, but had a minor shoulder procedure done as well and at age 39 is simply trying to show that his arm can still handle pitching, period.
Arroyo was one of the most durable starters in MLB from 2004-2013, but he missed most of 2014 and all of 2015 before joining the Nationals on a minor-league contract. His deal is worth $2 million in guaranteed money if cracks the Opening Day roster, so the Nationals will have to decide if they think Arroyo is worth that investment to possibly stash on the season-opening disabled list.
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.