Comings and goings
Royals reacquire Appier, lose Tucker to broken legPosted: Wednesday August 06, 2003 6:42 PM
Updated: Wednesday August 06, 2003 8:34 PM
Appier signed a deal with his original team Wednesday, just one week after being released by the Anaheim Angels, and will start for the AL Central-leading Royals on Friday.
But the Royals were hit with yet another injury. After a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, they announced Tucker will miss six to eight weeks with a broken right leg.
The Royals initially thought Tucker suffered a bone bruise when he hit a ball off his leg Monday night, but tests in Kansas City on Wednesday showed the break. He was put on the 15-day disabled list.
"Our starting pitchers are young, that means we're looking for some help," Royals manager Tony Pena said after the Appier deal was announced. "I think we're going to be OK."
Appier was released by the Angels last week, even though Anaheim still owed him more than $15.6 million. The Royals will pay less than $100,000 for Appier this year, and Anaheim also will be responsible for his $12 million salary next year.
The 35-year-old Appier pitched for the Royals from 1989-99. The ninth overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft, he soon became a mainstay in Kansas City's rotation and was 114-89 with the Royals.
"Obviously, he's a veteran, a guy with playoff experience," assistant general manager Muzzy Jackson said. "A guy that's going to be able to stop a losing streak for you. He's going to be able to give you innings. He's a battle-tested warrior. He'll go out and take the ball for you and on that day, you know you've got a chance to win that game."
The Royals' loss cut their lead in the AL Central to just one game over the White Sox. Chicago has gone 15-5 since the All-Star break to trim six games off Kansas City's division lead.
The Royals are 9-11 since the break and have been plagued by injuries. Miguel Asencio has been on the disabled list since May, Kyle Snyder went on the DL on Wednesday and Jose Lima is out with a strained groin.
Runelvys Hernandez also did a recent stint on the DL.
"Getting Appier is good for our team," first baseman Ken Harvey said. "We need some starting pitchers."
The Royals probably would have pursued Appier even if Lima was healthy, Jackson said.
"He's a guy we like," Jackson said. "We like what he brought to the team for a long time. He's a former Royal and we want him."
Appier was 14-12 with a 3.92 ERA for Anaheim last season, winning a World Series ring. But he struggled to a 7-7 record with a 5.63 ERA in 19 starts this year while pitching with a partial tear in his elbow and a strained right forearm that put him on the disabled list.
In his last outing, Appier threw 43 pitches and didn't make it out of the first inning against the New York Yankees. He gave up four runs and five hits while getting only two outs.
The next day, July 30, the Angels placed him on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
Appier is 168-134 lifetime with a 3.72 ERA. His best season was 1993, when he went 18-8 with an AL-leading 2.56 ERA and finished third in voting for the Cy Young Award.