The Royals optioned reliever Brian Flynn back to Class AAA Omaha on Wednesday, creating room on the roster for newly acquired starting pitcher Trevor Cahill.
The move came one day after the club activated relievers Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter, who were also acquired Monday from the San Diego Padres in a six-player deal.
Cahill will make his first start for the Royals on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Flynn, who suffered a serious back injury before spring training, did not pitch after being called up earlier this week.
The Royals continue to operate with a nine-man bullpen, even after Flynn was sent back to Omaha. In addition to Maurer and Buchter, the club still has a relief corps that features Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, Mike Minor, Peter Moylan, Scott Alexander, Neftali Feliz and Kevin McCarthy.
As a result, the Royals' bench has been limited to catcher Drew Butera and infielder Ramon Torres. The club could opt to make another roster move to add to the bench after a day off on Thursday.
The options could include infielder Cheslor Cuthbert, who is on a rehab assignment at Class AAA Omaha after sustaining a sprained wrist. Cuthbert can remain on the assignment until Aug. 6. Outfielder Billy Burns, who was optioned back to Omaha on July 22, must stay in the minors for 10 days, meaning he is not eligible to return until Aug. 2.