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Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
8:15 PM EST. With Nate Karns going on the DL, 25-year-old Eric Skoglund (LHP) will temporarily join the Royals rotation. The tall (6'7", 200-pound) lefty started five games for the Royals last year where he had modest results but walked too many (14 strikeouts and 12 walks while facing 93 batters). This spring he showed more of his good Triple-A skills by striking out 11 of the 41 batters he faced and not issuing a single walk. Last year in Omaha he put up 9.1 K’s/9 with just 2.6 BB/9 and the Royals will hope for numbers closer to that this time in the rotation. Skoglund uses his height to throw downhill. He has the command to pitch to all four quadrants of the strike zone, and he can do this with his fastball, his curve, his slider and his change-up. Only his fastball and curve are average, though. Scouts say his other two pitches need more work so while none of his pitches are plus, he has been effective in his career. After 100 innings at Triple-A and 18 more in Kansas City last year, he gets another opportunity here. He has a career 3.75 ERA with 8 K’s/9 and 2.2 BB’s/9 over 367.2 minor league innings. Is he a risk? Absolutely but King Felix is a much bigger risk spotting a price on the road.
A Felix Hernandez (RHP) revival is unlikely. Once a lock for 200 innings a year, Hernandez failed to log half as many innings last season, as he spent most of the year season battling injury. Hernandez has been a shell of his former self for a while now, but after posting hugely negative returns, one could downgrad him to ghost. With April groin tightness and two bouts of shoulder bursitis, it's possible he didn't pitch a single healthy inning all year.
Bouts with shoulder inflammation and biceps tendonitis led Hernandez to miss about half of the year and when he did pitch, the results were unimpressive. While a return to health and some regression in hr/f could bring the ERA back somewhat, make no mistake, the king of the Mariners rotation has relinquished his throne and he’s now fade material when favored. That applies here.
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