Royals Possibility Jakob Junis, Place Matt Harvey On Injured Checklist
The Royals introduced Wednesday that they’ve optioned right-hander Jakob Junis to their alternate coaching web site and positioned Matt Harvey on the injured listing as a result of a lat pressure. Righty Scott Blewett and infielder Erick Mejia are up from the alternate web site instead of Junis and Harvey.
For Junis, who turns 28 at the moment, this transfer represents the newest step in a downward trajectory over the previous two seasons. He regarded to have emerged as a serviceable innings eater for Kansas Metropolis in 2017-18, when he tossed 275 1/three innings over 46 begins, averaging 8.zero strikeouts, 2.2 walks and 1.54 homers per 9 innings alongside the way in which.
Nonetheless, Junis was rocked for a 5.24 ERA final season, and the 2020 marketing campaign has been nightmarish. He has but to finish 5 innings in any of his six begins this yr, and he’s surrendered no less than two runs in every of these outings. Total, he’s sitting on a 6.94 ERA and a equally grisly 6.76 FIP. He’s falling behind hitters extra often (57 p.c first-pitch strike fee in comparison with 62.7 in 2018) and has already served up seven lengthy balls on the yr.
Junis might want to keep down on the alternate web site for 10 days except he’s recalled instead of somebody who’s going on the injured listing, so it’s fairly attainable that this transfer successfully ends his 2020 season. He’s already crossed the three-year threshold by way of Main League service time this yr, which means he’ll be eligible for arbitration this winter. Given his 5.44 ERA and 5.05 FIP over his previous 37 MLB begins and 198 2/three innings, Junis isn’t a lock to be tendered a contract this winter.
Harvey, too, appears prone to be achieved for the yr within the wake of this harm. Whereas there’s no official phrase on the severity of the pressure, a lat pressure usually isn’t one thing from which a pitcher returns within the minimal 10-day allotment. The previous Mets ace had hoped this newest comeback try would show extra fruitful than earlier efforts, however Harvey turned in his worst numbers to this point on the MLB degree. He managed simply 11 2/three innings between 4 begins and three reduction outings, yielding 15 runs on 27 hits and 5 walks with 10 strikeouts alongside the way in which. Harvey served up six dingers in that stretch.
If there’s a small silver lining, Harvey’s 94.5 mph common fastball was up from latest years, however it’s nonetheless shy of the 96-97 mph he averaged at his temporary however dominant peak. Sadly for Harvey, accidents have decimated what appeared to be probably the most promising younger arms within the recreation earlier final decade. The previous No. 7 general decide logged a superb 2.53 ERA and a pair of.65 FIP by way of his first 427 Main League innings — plus one other 26 2/three frames of three.02 ERA ball within the playoffs — however he’s undergone each Tommy John and thoracic outlet surgical procedure. Few pitchers have had profitable returns from a TOS process, and battling again from each of these main operations is an much more daunting job.