The Royals are hopeful starting pitcher Trevor Cahill can fill out their rotation following a two-month search for an answer at the back end.
His first assignment: facing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Cahill, acquired Monday from San Diego in a six-player trade, will make his first start on Saturday in Boston, Royals manager Ned Yost confirmed Tuesday.
Cahill, who was expected to arrive in Detroit late Tuesday night, will slide into the spot previously held by left-hander Travis Wood, who was sent to San Diego as part of the deal. Cahill will be added to the roster before Wednesday’s series finale. Relievers Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter, the other pieces in the trade, were added to the roster on Monday afternoon.
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The Royals’ 25-man roster was at 24 players after Wood was sent to San Diego, along with injured left-hander Matt Strahm and minor-league infielder Esteury Ruiz. To create room for Maurer and Buchter, the Royals optioned right-hander Jakob Junis back to Omaha.
On Tuesday, Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland sent Cahill a text message, welcoming him to the team. Eiland said he spent much of his day watching video on Cahill, Maurer and Buchter. His only previous experience with the three new pitchers came at the 2010 All-Star Game, when Eiland, then the Yankees’ pitching coach, worked with Cahill, who was then pitching for the A’s.
“He’s got a really heavy sinker, a slurvy hard curveball and a real good change-up,” Eiland said. “So it should play really well for us. It’s a guy that’s had a lot of success. He should fit nicely in that spot.”
Cahill will join the Royals after posting a 3.69 ERA in 11 starts for the Padres. After signing a one-year, $1.75 million deal in the offseason, he elevated his stock with a solid first half. He struck out 72 hitters and issued 24 walks in 61 innings. He resembled the frontline starter who began his career in Oakland in 2009.
Cahill missed time in May and June after going on the disabled list because of a shoulder strain. He proved himself healthy during the month of July. His final start for the Padres came last Friday.
“He’s got good stuff,” Yost said. “His numbers are good up to this point. … I remember him a couple of years back. He was always tough. We think he’s going to help us out.”