Opinion

Chris Young tentatively scheduled to join Royals rotation as Edinson Volquez serves suspension

Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was taken out of the game during the sixth inning Sunday against the White Sox in Chicago.
Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was taken out of the game during the sixth inning Sunday against the White Sox in Chicago. The Associated Press

Edinson Volquez utilized the appeal system to start for the Royals on Sunday afternoon. A day later, he dropped his case and accepted his five-game suspension, which will open a hole in the starting rotation for Friday’s game against Detroit.

Manager Ned Yost hopes to fill the void with right-hander Chris Young. If Yost needs to use Young in relief during the intervening week, Yohan Pino is also a candidate. Yost indicated rookie Brandon Finnegan would not receive consideration for this assignment.

Young indicated he was unsure how many pitches he could throw in a spot start. He has posted a 2.08 ERA in four outings this season. Yost considers him a vital asset as a reliever.

"I just told him, 'Look, we'll take it one day at a time,'" Young said. "There's a chance I pitch tonight. There's a chance I pitch tomorrow. They could need me on Wednesday, Thursday, even. We'll get there when they do. Right now, I'm just focused on the role I'm in, taking the ball and trying to get outs when they call my name."

Kansas City saw little reason to continue Volquez’s appeal. He admitted to being "out of control" and taking a wild swing at White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija during Thursday’s fight. Anything less than his five-game ban would not cause him to miss any time.

"A five-game suspension, they’re not going to lower that, because then it’s not a suspension," Yost said. "I mean, they move it to four, so what?"

The Royals say they will play out the cases for Yordano Ventura (seven games), Lorenzo Cain (two games) and Kelvin Herrera (two games). Herrera has also appealed a five-game suspension for throwing behind Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie.

Volquez can return on Saturday, when he will start against Detroit. He gave up one earned run, but four unearned ones, in last Sunday’s loss to Chicago. He indicated he harbored no regrets about his actions during the brawl

"When you get into fights like that, somebody’s got to get suspended," Volquez said. "We understand that. And I knew that before we went out there. As a teammate, you’ve got to protect your teammates. Somebody had to pay the price."

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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