The Royals reinstated left-handed pitcher Eric Skoglund from the restricted list and designated right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger for assignment prior to Wednesday’s game against the Indians. Ultimately, those two moves resulted in left-handed submarine-style pitcher Tim Hill joining the major-league roster.
The club announced Skoglund’s reinstatement and immediately optioned him to Triple-A Omaha, where he’s expected to join the starting rotation. He served an 80-game suspension for violation of the Major League Baseball Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program following a positive test for Ostarine and Ligandrol.
In order to make space for Skoglund on the 40-man roster, Boxberger needed to be designated for assignment.
Boxberger, a former All-Star closer who the club signed in February to a $2.2 million deal, has pitched in 29 games with a 5.40 ERA with a .243 opponent’s batting average and a 1.58 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.
Boxberger had a strong stretch in May. He held opponents to a .152 batting average and posted a 2.89 ERA in 10 appearances. His velocity never returned to the level of his All-Star year in 2015. He averaged 90 mph on his fastball according to MLB Statcast data.
“He was a tad bit inconsistent, and went through a really good stretch,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was really good in the clubhouse. He was a great teammate.
“You look at our staff and he was probably the last guy on the staff right now. That just the way it works.”
Hill, who started the season with the Royals and was sent down to Triple-A after early struggles, made a brief return for two days in late April when the major-league bullpen was short-handed He made one appearance during that three-day stint with the club in Tampa Bay.
For Omaha this season, Hill has a 2.12 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 30 strikeouts and six walks in 29 2/3 innings. He also converted 3 of 4 save chances.
“It’s good to have another lefty to help (Jake) Diekman out down there, give us a little more depth in terms of left-right balance,” Yost said.