The news was not unexpected, but there was a silver lining for the Royals.
Relief pitcher Joakim Soria was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday because of a “grade-one internal oblique strain” that was revealed in an MRI on Thursday. The recovery time for an oblique injury can be upward of six weeks, but Royals manager Ned Yost expected Soria would miss 10 to 15 days.
“It was good news,” Yost said.
The Royals recalled relief pitcher Kevin McCarthy for Class AAA Omaha — again — to take Soria’s place on the roster.
Soria has a 3.96 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 50 innings this season, including seven blown saves, and has often been used in the eighth inning of games. Soria was expected to be placed on the disabled list after Yost said Wednesday that he was pitching through soreness in his lower back.
Yost also said earlier in the week that right-hander Brandon Maurer could pitch more in the eighth inning. But on Friday, Yost said nothing is set in stone.
“It just depends on where we’re at in the game,” Yost said. “If everything lines up, will he be the guy? Yeah. But (Mike) Minor could be the guy. Shoot (Peter) Moylan could be the guy if we didn’t use him (earlier in a game).
“We kind of like Moylan, (Scott) Alexander, Minor to clean up stuff. It just depends where we are or what the situation is.”
This will be McCarthy’s fourth stint with the Royals. He was first recalled by the Royals on May 29, then optioned back to Omaha on June 7. The Royals brought McCarthy back on June 19, and he stayed with the club until July 27 when he was sent to the Storm Chasers again.
The Royals recalled McCarthy on Aug. 10, but he was returned to Omaha to make room for starting pitcher Jakob Junis on Sunday.
In 19 games with the Royals, McCarthy has a 1.88 ERA over 24 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and five walks. McCarthy had a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings with the Storm Chasers.
“He throws strikes,” Yost said. “He gets guys out. He’s done a nice job for us. He’s durable.”