Jason Vargas able to play catch, could rejoin Royals next week

Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas.
Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas. The Kansas City Star

Jason Vargas remained in Kansas City on Friday as his teammates started the second half of the season. Vargas underwent an emergency appendectomy on July 9, which landed him on the disabled list and will cost him at least two starts.

But the Royals are still hopeful Vargas could rejoin the club after this next turn in the rotation. Vargas has been able to play catch up to 75 feet without any complications, pitching coach Dave Eiland said.

After Bruce Chen starts the fifth game of the second half, on Tuesday in Chicago, the Royals will re-evaluate their rotation schedule. The hope is Vargas can slot somewhere into that second turn through, and Chen can move back into the bullpen.

Eiland does not believe Vargas will require a minor-league rehabilitation stint. After a few bullpen sessions, he should be ready.

Manager Ned Yost displayed his usual brand of nebulousness when asked if Vargas would be ready after this turn.

“He could,” Yost said. “Then again, he might not.”

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