July 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM
Boston has acquired left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. The 27-year-old had been with Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, and is not on the 40-man roster.
Verdugo was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the ninth round of the 2008 draft, and was dealt to the Royals after the 2011 season as part of a deal that sent outfielder Melky Cabrera out west. Added to the 40-man roster that offseason, he made his first and only major league appearance on July 17, 2012. Getting the start against the Seattle Mariners, Verdugo allowed six runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings, taking the loss.
Used mostly as a reliever early in his minor league career, Verdugo has pitched out of the starting rotation almost exclusively since 2011. He had a strong season with Omaha in 2012, going 12-4 with a 3.75 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but was removed from the Royals 40-man roster after that season. Per Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the start of Verdugo's 2014 season was delayed due to a sports hernia. In nine starts since his activiation, he has a 4.24 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
Verdugo was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week from June 9 to 15 after striking out 15 batters in 12 2/3 scoreless innings. Lee Warren of Minor League Ball reported in June that a tweak in Verdugo's delivery had helped him with his fastball command. Warren also noted that Verdugo features a good changeup as well as a curve and slider.
It is likely that Verdugo will be assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. If he is added to the 40-man roster, he has two options remaining.
Photo Credit: Ryan Verdugo from milb.com