Left-hander Ryan Verdugo paid an additional price Wednesday for his poor big-league debut Tuesday when he was optioned to Class AAA Omaha as the Royals replenished their bullpen by recalling lefty Francisley Bueno.
By BOB DUTTON and JAYSON JENKS
The Kansas City Star
The Royals also confirmed left-handed pitcher Will Smith will be recalled from Omaha in time to start today’s series finale against Seattle at Kauffman Stadium. A corresponding move will be announced prior to the game.
Verdugo, 25, allowed six runs and eight hits in just 12/3 innings in Tuesday’s 9-6 loss to the Mariners. He had been recalled earlier in the day in a series of roster moves after the Royals designated left-hander Jonathan Sánchez for assignment.
Bueno, 31, made two relief appearances last month in a four-day stay with the big-league club. He is 1-4 with a 2.88 ERA and five saves in 31 games for Omaha.
Smith, 23, is 3-0 in his last four minor-league starts while allowing just four earned runs in 272/3 innings. He was 1-2 in three big-league starts earlier this season while allowing 14 runs in 14 innings.
Manager Ned Yost said the rest of the rotation will push back one day to accommodate Smith. That means Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza and Everett Teaford will start the three weekend games against Minnesota.
Smith hopes he returns with a bit more control than he did in that first stint in the majors.
“I’m just excited I got another chance,” Smith said. “I’m just going to try and come up here and do a lot better job than last time.”
In those 14 innings he gave up six home runs and only got past the fifth inning once.
“I got hurt with too many pitches up, too many pitches out over the plate,” he said. “(In Omaha), it was just more control, control, control.”
It wasn’t all bad — he allowed two runs in six innings in his second start in the majors — but the message was clear: Something had to change. And the change Smith made at Omaha dealt mostly with keeping his pitches down.
“We wanted him to go down and get himself settled so we could get him back up here,” Yost said.
Royals get additional pick
The Royals won Major League Baseball’s first-ever competitive balance lottery, which awarded draft picks to six teams following the first round next year and any free-agent compensation picks.
A change under baseball’s new collective-bargaining agreement, the competitive balance lottery included the 10 teams with the lowest revenues and the 10 in the smallest markets, with many clubs overlapping.
Those clubs were then eligible for the six lottery picks announced Wednesday.
In addition, for the first time, teams are also allowed to trade their lottery picks during the season. Teams are not allowed to trade any other draft picks.
“Every year it seems we pick 5 and 65,” Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg told Baseball America. “We’ve always had to sit back and watch a lot of good players go by, so now this puts a lot of extra players in play.”
Here are the six teams that won lottery picks for after the first round (in order): Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Reds and Marlins.
As a result of new draft rules that created specific amounts of bonus money teams can pay draftees, the Royals spent nearly half as much on draft picks this year compared with last year.
According to Baseball America, the Royals spent $14,066,000 in bonuses last year, trailing only the Pirates ($17,005,700) and the Washington Nationals ($15,002,100). This year, they spent $7,573,000, which ranked 10th.
Hosmer to drop in order
Ned Yost said he would likely move Eric Hosmer down in the batting order for Thursday’s series finale against Seattle. Hosmer, who has been hitting third, went hitless in five at-bats in Wednesday’s 8-7 win.
He is just two for his last 22.
• Wednesday: 17,312
• 2012 season (through 43 games): 1,004,881
• 2011 season (through 43 games): 799,593
• Ahead: 205,288
• 2012 average: 23,369
• 2011 average: 18,595
To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/Royals_Report.