As the Royals opened a six-game road trip in Minnesota, they were without an important relief piece for another day.
Rookie left-hander Matt Strahm was “unavailable” to pitch in the Royals’ 11-5 victory over the Twins, manager Ned Yost said. It was the fourth straight game in which Strahm, who is 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA, did not appear.
Strahm was last seen throwing in the bullpen on Saturday night. He warmed up at least twice during the Royals’ 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers, but he never entered the game. The stress of warming up multiple times in one night left him sore on Sunday and unavailable to pitch in a 6-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers. On Monday, he spent the game in the Royals’ dugout.
Reliever Joakim Soria also was unavailable after pitching Saturday and Sunday, but Strahm’s case raised some additional questions.
After the game, Yost confirmed Strahm was not available to pitch Monday. He declined to elaborate on his condition.
“I didn’t want to use him,” Yost said.
The condition of Strahm’s left arm has been a constant curiosity since he joined the Royals in late July. The Royals are closely monitoring his usage after he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in his career. Except for one occasion last week, Strahm has not been allowed to pitch on back-to-back days.
On Monday, he was also dealing with the death of his maternal grandfatherthis week in North Dakota.
Strahm said Monday that he probably would leave the Royals on Thursday’s off day and attend services Friday in North Dakota, missing the series opener against the White Sox in Chicago. For now, he would rejoin the club on Saturday.
Cain misses another game
Lorenzo Cain’s sore left wrist continues to improve. It hasn’t allowed him to get back on the field.
Cain was out of the lineup again on Monday. He missed his fifth straight game since receiving an injection Tuesday night in Kansas City.
Yost remained hopeful that Cain could rejoin the lineup before the end of the series in Minnesota.