Bruce Chen returned to the Royals on Sunday morning, even though he is still as much as a week away from being activated from the disabled list. Manager Ned Yost indicated Chen would still require a fourth rehabilitation start before the team would consider bringing him back to major-league competition.
Yost does not intend to give Chen (bulging disk in lower back) his spot back in the starting rotation, but he wants him stretched out and capable of throwing 100 pitches in case one of the five regulars misses time.
“Do you know how long it takes for somebody to get hurt?” Yost said before Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the White Sox. “A second. So we prepare. And when we get there, we make a decision.”
Chen’s performance in the minors has been far from exemplary. He gave up six runs in three innings for Class AAA Omaha on Friday night in Fresno, Calif.
“I have to make better pitches,” Chen said. “In the third inning, I was able to make an adjustment that hopefully I can carry on to next time.”
He added, “I did make some bad pitches, but I’m just glad it’s happening there, instead of here.”
Valencia’s rehab delayed
When the weekend began, backup third baseman Danny Valencia hoped to leave the team on Sunday to join Class AA Northwest Arkansas to begin a rehab assignment for his sprained left hand.
Instead, he’ll have to wait an extra two days. Valencia will fly with the club to Detroit and take batting practice at Comerica Park on Monday, Yost said. If he feels up to it after that, he will head to Class AAA Omaha on Tuesday.
Valencia still experiences discomfort when he swings.
“Before, he would feel it, and it would linger after he was done,” Yost said. “Now, he still feels it, but when he’s done with B.P., it’s gone.”
Escobar’s streak ends
Shortstop Alcides Escobar went 0-for-3 on Sunday, which ended his hitting streak at 12 games. He hit .439 during that time period, which began on June 1.