The Royals have recalled right-handed pitcher Trevor Oaks from Class AAA Omaha and placed Blaine Boyer on the disabled list because of a right lower back strain.
Oaks last pitched on May 25, throwing seven innings for the Storm Chasers. In nine starts at Omaha, Oaks is 3-3 with a 2.50 ERA.
He’s a fresh arm that arrives a day after the Royals used five relief pitchers in a 2-1 victory over the Twins in 14 innings, and on a day when the starter is scheduled to be Brad Keller, who has been exclusively in relief this season. Keller was expected to throw 55-60 pitches in Wednesday's series finale against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
Oaks made his major-league debut with the Royals on April 28 in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox. He surrendered five runs in five innings in the Royals’ 8-0 loss.
Boyer’s 11.76 ERA is the highest in baseball among relief pitchers with at least 20 appearances.
“When (Boyer) is right, he’s a productive bullpen piece,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “But he’s been dealing with foot problems, with back problems and continuing to try to pitch through it.”
The Royals considered sending down Scott Barlow, who pitched the final four innings on Tuesday and collected his first major-league victory.
“But the best thing is just to get Blaine healthy,” Yost said. “He can still help us when he’s healthy.”