One night after experiencing stiffness in his right forearm, Royals starter Nathan Karns departed the visitors clubhouse here on Saturday morning and headed to undergo tests on his arm.
Karns allowed just one run in five innings in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Target Field. The stiffness surfaced in the latter part of the second inning and remained for the rest of the night, he said. After throwing 72 pitches, Karns exited the game.
Afterward, he described the measure as “precautionary” and “nothing alarming”. On Saturday morning, Royals manager Ned Yost compared the symptoms as similar to those of Chris Young, who went on the disabled list last May after straining a muscle in the top of the foream.
The location of the stiffness offers some positive news. Forearm tightness in the bottom of the arm, or the flexor muscle, is often viewed as a precursor to problems with the ulnar collateral ligament and possible Tommy John surgery. But a forearm strain on top of the arm is not as ominous.
“It’s just in one spot right here,” Yost said, pointing to the top of the forearm. “We’re looking at it, trying to make a determination of where we’re at with it.”
Acquired in the offseason in a trade that sent outfielder Jarrod Dyson to Seattle, Karns, 29, is 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA. His numbers, however, are slightly inflated by a poor relief outing during the first week of the season. In eight starts, Karns has posted a 3.43 ERA while striking out 9.9 batters per nine innings.