The Royals placed left-handed pitcher Matt Strahm on the 10-day disabled list between games during Saturday’s doubleheader against the Twins. He left the first game of the doubleheader after pitching one inning of work, walking off with trainer Nick Schwartz in the fourth inning with what was later revealed as patella tendinitis, an injury Strahm had been battling the last few weeks. That could be part of why he struggled in his last start and why the Royals took him out of the rotation this week.
To replace him, the Royals recalled right-handed pitcher Miguel Almonte from AAA Omaha. Almonte had battled shoulder stiffness, but had returned a few weeks ago and has tossed nine shutout innings for the Storm Chasers this season with 12 strikeouts and four walks, working in relief his last few outings. Almonte has been up twice with the Royals before this year, getting into one game, and allowing three runs.
Strahm’s injury may not be too serious, as he could be out just next week and return following the All-Star break. Putting him on the disabled list allowed them to immediately add a reliever after they had to burn five relievers in the first game of a doubleheader. Strahm walked two and allowed a hit, but did not allow a run in his one inning of work. He has a 5.45 ERA this year in 34 2⁄3 innings of work.
Sunday update: Strahm has a torn patellar tendon.
Ned said Royals don't know if Strahm will need surgery and they don't have a timetable for recovery.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) July 2, 2017
Patellar tendon tears caused Carlos Gonzalez and Garrett Richards to miss the final two months of the season when they sustained the injury.
When non-surgical approaches are exhausted, surgical debridement and repair of the tendon can be pursued, with studies showing an 82-88 percent return to pre-injury levels on average and a return to play in the three to four month range common, depending upon the position played; however, six months is an oft-cited and more conservative estimate for time until return to play.
Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler also suffered a dramatic patellar tendon injury in his Major League debut this week.