KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' bullpen, already short with setup man Joakim Soria on the disabled list, may be looking at time without closer Kelvin Herrera as well.Herrera was removed with two outs and the bases loaded and a 2-0 count to Pat Valaika in the ninth inning Tuesday. Scott
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' bullpen, already short with setup man Joakim Soria on the disabled list, may be looking at time without closer Kelvin Herrera as well.
Herrera was removed with two outs and the bases loaded and a 2-0 count to Pat Valaika in the ninth inning Tuesday. Scott Alexander came in for Herrera and induced a forceout, finishing off a 3-2 win over the Rockies.
But the greater concern is Herrera.
"Forearm tightness is all we got right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Herrera. "He just wasn't finishing his pitches. He got the first two outs, and I thought, 'Man, he's going to have a 12-pitch inning and get through it.' But he just wasn't finishing his pitches."
Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who just returned from the disabled list, noticed a dip in Herrera's velocity. When the count reached 2-0 to Valaika, he immediately gestured to the Royals' dugout.
"He was 92 [mph] on his fastball," Perez said. "He said he felt his arm tighten."
Yost said he and his coaches noticed something was wrong, too.
"He was spiking his changeup and not finishing his fastball," Yost said.
Yost didn't want to speculate on Herrera's immediate future.
"If you give us a little time, we might be able to figure it out," Yost said. "They're checking him [tonight] to see the extent of it."
Normally that would mean an MRI, but Yost seemed to bristle at that suggestion.
"No one has said anything about an MRI," Yost said. "It's in a spot that generally doesn't mean anything [serious]."
Soria would have been the logical next man up for the closer's role. Another option might have been right-hander Neftali Feliz, who has closer experience but also is on the disabled list. That likely leaves right-hander Brandon Maurer, who closed for the Padres before coming to the Royals in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.