Four of a kind has flushed Royals

Luis Mendoza of the Kansas City Royals is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Blue Jays. (AFP)

Luis Mendoza of the Kansas City Royals is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Blue Jays. (AFP)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 PM ET

It's worth coming down to the Rogers Centre to see what's left of their pitching staff.

They've suffered one injury after another.

Their doctors are the busiest in the industry.

Oh yes, the Blue Jays will be there too as the Kansas City Royals visit Monday night in the first of a four-game series.

Suffice to say, neither team will be throwing a pity party for the other.

How it has gone for the Royals staff:

Closer Joakim Soria injured his elbow and had to undergo Tommy John surgery at the end of spring training.

Former set-up man Blake Wood had the same injury in March and underwent the same procedure.

Lefty Danny Duffy, their most advanced young arm, underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-May.

Right-hander Felipe Paulino is on the disabled list for a second time with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He is awaiting a date for his Tommy John surgery. Paulino had been dominant with a 1.70 ERA in seven starts after his first stint on the disabled list with a forearm problem.

And lefty Jonathan Sanchez, acquired from the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Melky Cabrera, has been activated after a bout with biceps tendinitis, but his velocity isn't where it once was.

The Jays may have had three starters walk off the mound in four games: Brandon Morrow (strained left oblique), Kyle Drabek (sprained ulnar collateral ligament, leading to Tommy John surgery) and Drew Hutchison (ligament sprain in his right elbow). Drabek will be lost for 12 to 18 months, while the Jays hope Morrow and Hutchison are expected to return in September.

That's tough to survive an injury wave like that, but that's a long way from four Tommy John surgeries.

The New York Yankees couldn't handle the loss of three starters in four games.

The Boston Red Sox couldn't handle four Tommy John surgeries in one season.

After dropping three of four in Minnesota, including a loss to Guelph lefty Scott Diamond, the Royals are four games through their three-city, 11-game trip which brings them to Toronto and then Detroit leading to the all-star break.

The highlight of the Royals season will be all-star festivities -- the Futures Game, the home run derby and the all-star game -- at Kauffman Stadium July 10-12.

DH Billy Butler, who leads the Royals in homers and RBIs, is the Royals representative.

 


ROYALS AT BLUE JAYS

MONDAY 7:07 p.m. LHP Everett Teaford vs. LHP Ricky Romero

TUESDAY 7:07 p.m. RHP Vin Mazzaro vs. LHP Brett Cecil

WEDNESDAY 7:07 p.m. RHP Luis Mendoza vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva

THURSDAY 7:07 p.m. RHP Luke Hochevar vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez


ELLIOTT'S TAKE

As we always say, if we knew for sure we'd be feet up, Diet Coke in hand at a Vegas sports book, waiting to collect. The Jays swept a four-game series in Kansas City in April in games started by guys named Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow. Luis Perez picked up the win in Drabek's start, but the other three starters won. Now, only Romero remains. Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Danny Duffy and Bruce Chen were the Royals starters. Hochevar and Mendoza will pitch this series.

PREDICTION

Two wins, two losses for two teams.


ROYALS WHO'S HOT

  • Luis Mendoza allowed one run over a career-high eight innings in Minneapolis on Friday. He retired the final 13 batters he faced and 18 of the final 20, fanning five, and allowing only one runner to reach second.
  • SS Alcides Escobar brings in a .451 average (14-for-31) over his last 10 games.
  • DH Billy Butler hit a solo home run Saturday against the Twins, his 16th home run and 48th RBI of the year, both are team highs.
  • Luke Hochevar allowed five runs and eight hits, including three homers Saturday against the Twins. Hochevar entered the game having thrown 16 consecutive scoreless innings against Houston and Tampa Bay. 

ROYALS WHO'S COLD

  • Jonathan Sanchez, the Royals' prime off-season acquisition (in the Melky Cabrera trade with the Giants) walked six Twins on Saturday lasting 4 1/3 innings. He's 0-2 with a 6.21 ERA since coming off the disabled list June 13 following left biceps injury. He has allowed six runs in his past two starts and four or more in four of his last five. 
  • RF Jeff Francouer is 3-for-20 (.150) in his last five games with four strikeouts.
  • 3B Mike Moustakas is 1-for-19 (.053) with a solo homer in his last six games. 

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