Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera is expected to be unavailable for at least three days after being diagnosed with a mild strain in the lower part of his right forearm. Herrera underwent an MRI after leaving in the middle of the ninth inning on Friday during a 7-6 victory over the Twins at Target Field.
Royals head trainer Nick Kenney called the issue a mild strain “in the deep flexor in his wrist.” It’s the same injury that afflicted Herrera when he exited early in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 22. The Royals have said the injury is confined to the lower part of his forearm and is not connected to any issues with his elbow or ulnar collateral ligament.
“He’s got full strength,” Kenney said. “Full range of motion. What happens is once it gets tight, he actually loses a little bit of control of his motor functions in his fingers. And that’s why he gets a little erratic. It’s almost like a fatigue-type issue. Once he gets deeper in a game, 25, 30 (pitches) this thing starts to tighten up a little bit on him.”
Royals manager Ned Yost said he would use a closer-by-committee approach while Herrera is sidelined. Joakim Soria, who has worked as the club’s setup man for much of the season, remains on the disabled list.
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Herrera, 27, has posted a 3.75 ERA and recorded 26 saves in 29 opportunities. He’s striking out 8.94 batters per nine innings while issuing 3.22 walks per nine. His home-run rate, however, has been nearly double his career average — 1.43 per nine compared to 0.73 for his career.
Herrera has been better in save situations, posting a 2.45 ERA in 31 appearances. He’s recorded a 5.57 ERA in non-save situations.