Injuries & Moves: Duffey selected from Triple-A; Veneziano optioned

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April 22: RHP selected from Triple-A Omaha; LHP optioned to Triple-A Omaha
In preparation of their four-game series against the right-handed heavy Blue Jays and to add a fresh arm to the bullpen, the Royals selected Duffey’s contract and added him on the 40-man roster on Monday. In a corresponding move, Veneziano was optioned back to Omaha after back-to-back appearances this weekend out of the ‘pen.

Duffey, 33, signed a Minor League deal with the Royals this offseason but was sidelined for most of the spring after a melanoma diagnosis. He was just getting back to throwing when the Royals broke camp, so he stayed in Arizona for a few outings before joining Omaha at the beginning of April. In six appearances, Duffey has a 3.24 ERA across 8 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and five walks. Duffey has pitched in parts of nine Major League seasons since his debut with Minnesota in 2015.

“He’s a veteran arm, a guy we thought of highly when we signed him in the offseason for exactly this reason,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “He’s competitive, he throws strikes, he can spin the ball, and against a team with a lot of righties, it’s a good guy to have.”

The Royals had an open 40-man spot because they placed righty reliever Jordan Lyles on the inactive list on Friday. The team is not disclosing the reason for Lyles’ absence other than describing it as a “personal matter.” He’ll likely be sidelined for a while, though, leading to the addition of Duffey.

April 21: LHP (left hamstring strain) begins rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha
Take away a week-long stint last year when Brentz went on a short rehab assignment, and it's been two years since the hard-throwing lefty reliever has taken the mound in a competitive game. That changes Sunday when he begins his rehab assignment with Omaha. Brentz has been sidelined since March 17 with a left hamstring strain, a disappointing development in Brentz's first healthy Spring Training since he had Tommy John surgery in 2022. When he was attempting to come back from the elbow surgery last August, he suffered a lat strain that ended his season.

Given the injury history, the Royals will likely take Brentz's rehab assignment slow and not rush him back to the big leagues. Pitchers can stay on rehab assignments for up to 30 days. The 29-year-old offers high upside in the Royals' bullpen because he throws in the upper-90s, but he struggled with command before he got hurt this spring.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes," manager Matt Quatraro said. "It’s been two years since real competitive action. We’re excited for him to be out there. We don’t want to put any emphasis on, ‘You need to be here by this time,' or, 'You need to accomplish these things.’ We really have to take it one outing at a time.”

INACTIVE LIST

RHP (personal matter)
Expected return: TBD
The Royals placed Lyles on the inactive list on April 20. The team is not disclosing the reason for Lyles’ absence other than describing it as a “personal matter.” There’s no timeline for his return, as the Royals are letting him take the time he needs. Because of the type of inactive list Lyles was placed on, it opened a 40-man roster spot for the Royals, which they utilized on April 22 by promoting righty reliever Tyler Duffey. (Last updated: April 22)

10-DAY/15-DAY INJURED LIST

LHP (left hamstring strain)
Expected return: May
Brentz was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain after feeling a pull in his left leg during his Spring Training outing on March 17 against the Brewers. The timeline for his recovery was six weeks at the time, and he was placed on the injured list on March 28. Brentz had been rehabbing in Arizona, and the Royals were receiving extremely positive reports about his bullpen sessions, saying that his velocity was getting back to the upper-90s and he was throwing strikes.

Brentz was sent on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on April 21, but he'll take things slow as he comes back from an extensive injury history -- including Tommy John surgery in '22, a lat strain last year and the hamstring strain this year. Pitchers can spend up to 30 days on a rehab assignment. (Last updated: April 21)

RHP Carlos Hernández (right shoulder impingement)
Expected return: May
Hernández, who was shut down from throwing early in Spring Training because of shoulder pain, was placed on the 15-day IL on Opening Day. He's been rehabbing in Arizona and is on track in his recovery and throwing program. The Royals expect him to head out on a rehab assignment the week of April 21. (Last updated: April 21)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

LHP (left arm/biceps nerve injury)
Expected return: Second half
Taylor felt soreness when he was warming up for his March 17 Cactus League outing and was shut down afterward with left biceps soreness. The lefty reliever was diagnosed with a musculocutaneous nerve injury, and his timeline to return is unknown, as he'll be shut down from throwing until his biceps and upper arm regain feeling and he improves strength. Taylor was transferred to the 60-day IL on April 7 to make room for Colin Selby on the 40-man roster. (Last updated: April 7)

LHP (left elbow surgery)
Expected return: Mid-season
Bubic opted for full ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in April 2023 and has had a smooth recovery so far, targeting the middle of 2024 as a potential return date. He’s rehabbing at the Royals’ facility in Surprise, Ariz., and threw his first bullpen of the spring on Feb. 20. He was placed on the 60-day IL on Feb. 23 to make room for Austin Nola. Bubic has about two months of side sessions with increasing intensity before facing hitters, and the Royals are hopeful Bubic can head to a rehab assignment by May or June. (Last updated: March 28)

RHP (right shoulder surgery)
Expected return
: 2025
The Royals traded for Wright in November in exchange for Jackson Kowar knowing Wright was coming off shoulder surgery after the 2023 season. They made the move thinking ahead a year, foreseeing how Wright, who will be 29 in '25, could help after he led the Majors with 21 wins and posted a 3.19 ERA in '22. Pitchers who have this procedure typically take a year to return, and Wright is rehabbing in Kansas City with the goal of having a normal, non-rehabbing offseason later this year. He was placed on the 60-day IL on Feb. 17 to make room for reliever John Schreiber on the 40-man roster. (Last updated: March 28)