HOUSTON — The bill came due Monday for the Royals in a series of roster moves following a five-hour marathon Sunday that resulted in a 5-3 victory over the Cardinals in 15 innings in St. Louis.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
The Royals summoned two relievers from Class AAA Omaha right-hander Louis Coleman and lefty Tommy Hottovy after placing second baseman Chris Getz on the disabled list and optioning right-hander Nate Adcock to Omaha.
The moves left the Royals with 14 pitchers on their 25-man roster.
Ive got to have pitchers, manager Ned Yost said prior to the series opener against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Ive got four guys who are unavailable today and, really, I should have five who are unavailable. But Ive got four: (Tim) Collins, (Jonathan) Broxton, (Greg) Holland and (Kelvin) Herrera. Im not using those guys.
(Roman) Colon should be (unavailable), but hes not. Ill use Colon. Ive got (Aaron) Crow as my closer.
Collins, Holland and Herrera each pitched Saturday and Sunday; Broxton pitched two innings Sunday for the first time all season. Colon threw 53 pitches in back-to-back outing on Friday and Saturday.
Yost should be in better shape tonight after getting six innings Monday from starter Jonathan Sánchez before Coleman worked two disastrous innings in a 9-7 loss. Coleman allowed five runs in the eighth, which meant the Royals five-run ninth wasnt enough.
Hottovy is fully rested; he hasnt pitched since a two-inning appearance last Wednesday for Omaha.
Adding two pitchers (in exchange for an infielder and a pitcher) meant the Royals played with three non-pitching reserves: catcher Brayan Peña, first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Mitch Maier.
Thats not unusual for games played under American League rules with a designated hitter; its remarkably unorthodox when playing under National League rules, where the need for pinch-hitters is far more prevalent.
Ive got Broxton, Collins and Holland on the bench in case I need them, Yost said. Collins and Holland are both athletic guys who can play the outfield in a pinch. Gordie (Alex Gordon) can come in and play the infield if I need him.
Yost said Broxton was a pinch-hitting possibility.
He was an outfielder in high school, Yost said. If he ever gets into one
Broxton is 6 feet 4 and 300 pounds.
Yost said the Royals are likely to keep 14 pitchers through the end of the series.
Until we get this straightened out , he said. I cannot kill these guys, and thats what will happen if we start pushing them beyond two days. Our closer (Broxton) threw two innings (for the first time this season) on Sunday.
The strength of our team is our bullpen, and its what has carried us to this point. If I start abusing these guys, its not going to be a strength anymore. So for another day or two
If we can get past this, weve got an off-day Thursday. We get to that, we should be in really good shape again. Ive just got to manage it past this series.
Getz to the DL
The day-after evaluation on Getz is generally positive. The Royals believe he should be ready to return in 10 days or so after suffering a muscle strain to the lower part of his left leg in the first inning of Sundays game.
If so, he could be ready for a rehab assignment prior to the end of the 15-day period and, perhaps, be ready to return as soon as July 3.
The injury occurred just five days after Getz returned from a three-week stay on the disabled list because of a bruised left rib cage. He is batting .290 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 100 at-bats over 36 games.
Yost tweaked his rotation after Wednesdays loss and now plans to bring back Bruce Chen on three days rest instead of the usual four for Wednesday afternoons series finale against the Astros.
Chen threw just 40 pitches Saturday before exiting after allowing six runs to the Cardinals in 1 2/3 innings. That early departure forced the bullpen to eat 6 1/3 innings a day before Sundays nine-inning workout.
The move provides two days of extra rest for right-hander Vin Mazzaro, who departed Fridays game after six innings (and just 80 pitches) because of tightness in his calf.
Mazzaro is now in line to pitch Fridays series opener in the I-70 Series rematch against the Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium.
Outfielder Bubba Starlings status for his anticipated pro debut tonight for short-season Burlington at Pulaski in the Appalachian League turned iffy when he exited an exhibition game Sunday because of a sore hamstring.
Its very minor from the report that got, said assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. I dont know if hell play (tonight), but Ill be surprised if he misses much time.
Starling, 19, was the Royals first-round draft pick in 2011. He agreed to a club-record signing bonus of $7.5 million to turn down a scholarship to play football at Nebraska.
Plans called for right-hander Bryan Brickhouse, a third-round pick in 2011, to start Monday night for Idaho Falls in its season opener against Orem in the Pioneer League.
The Royals club in the Arizona Rookie League, based in Surprise, opens its season Wednesday against complex co-tenant Texas.
Cain playing again
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain started his minor-league rehab assignment by going one for three for Class AA Northwest Arkansas in a 6-5 victory over Tulsa.
It was Cains first game action since April 24, when he suffered a torn left flexor at Northwest Arkansas while on a rehab assignment for a strained left groin suffered April 10 at Oakland.
It was 38 years ago today June 19, 1974 that Steve Busby threw the second of his two career no-hitters. He allowed just one walk while striking out three in a 2-0 victory over the Brewers at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
Busby joined outfielder Amos Otis in 1986 as the first inductees to the Royals Hall of Fame.
To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.