Seeking relief help after a taxing weekend, the Royals summoned reliever Al Alburquerque from Class AAA Omaha on Monday as the team prepared to begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Rookie left-hander Eric Skoglund was optioned back to Omaha. Left-hander Matt Strahm, who sustained a torn patellar tendon in his left knee on Saturday, was placed on the 60-day disabled list, creating a spot on the 40-man roster.
Alburquerque was not a member of the 40-man roster after being designated for assignment in mid May. He cleared waivers and returned to the bullpen at Omaha.
Strahm is eligible to return from the 60-day disabled on Aug. 30. He is currently seeking a second opinion on the patellar tendon injury to determine if it will require what would likely be season-ending surgery.
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Alburquerque has posted a 2.08 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 26 innings at Omaha. He has allowed just two earned runs in 11 appearances since returning to action for the Storm Chasers on May 27.
The Royals bullpen was exhausted after four games against the Minnesota Twins in three days, including a doubleheader on Saturday. The stretch included short starts from rookie Luke Farrell and spot starter Travis Wood, who is transitioning from the bullpen. The workload left the unit depleted entering a six-game road trip through Seattle and Los Angeles. The Royals' next day off is Thursday, before a three-game series against the Dodgers.