Opinion

Jason Vargas to test injured elbow with bullpen session on Saturday

Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas throws against the Indians during their June 3 game at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas throws against the Indians during their June 3 game at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas will throw another bullpen session on Saturday morning as he recovers from soreness in his left flexor muscle.

Pitching coach Dave Eiland indicated this assignment would be intense, designed to gauge Vargas’ readiness before the team moves forward with him. Manager Ned Yost has said Vargas will not likely need a minor-league rehabilitation assignment, but the club could still schedule him to pitch in some sort of simulated game before he rejoins the big-league club.

This will be Vargas’ second time throwing off a mound since his injury. He completed a bullpen session on Wednesday in Seattle.

For now, the team’s chief concern is insuring there is no lingering discomfort in Vargas’ elbow. This is the second time this season he has been sidelined with this injury.

"I want to make sure this all out of there," Eiland said.

Vargas (5-2, 4.10) has only made eight starts in 2015. He last pitched on June 8. He lasted six innings, but only threw 70 pitches. During a subsequent bullpen session, he cut short his throwing because of soreness in his forearm. He has not appeared in a game since.

The Royals are still searching for clarity with their rotation. Yordano Ventura (ulnar nerve irritation) spent Friday with Class AAA Omaha. He was scheduled to throw five innings at a 75-pitch limit. Danny Duffy just rejoined the rotation on Tuesday in Seattle. Meanwhile, Kris Medlen has made two starts on his rehabilitation assignment from his second Tommy John surgery.

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

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