The six-man rotation is on its way.
The Royals will add an extra arm to the mix Wednesday against the White Sox, when left-hander Eric Skoglund receives his first start since May.
To accommodate the move, the Royals will slide Brad Keller to Tuesday’s start. Skoglund will finish the three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Jakob Junis is throwing in the opener Monday.
In his first major-league appearance since May 25, Skoglund pitched out of the bullpen Friday, throwing two shutout innings. But the Royals would like to slide him back into the rotation, a spot for which he will likely compete next spring.
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“He’s just been a starter his whole career — we like him as a starter,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Skoglund was offered a spot in the previously five-man rotation to open the season, but he won just one of his nine starts, posting a 6.70 earned run average. He was shut down in May with a UCL sprain. After beginning to rehab that injury, he later missed time with an ankle injury.
In his last start with Class AAA Omaha before a September call-up, he threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits on 55 pitches. Yost did not specify the pitch count Skoglund would operate with on Wednesday, but he did say Glenn Sparkman will be ready for a role in long relief that evening.
Skoglund’s inclusion will officially commence the Royals’ transition to a six-man rotation for September, a move at which Yost hinted two weeks ago, even before left-hander Danny Duffy was shut down with a shoulder injury. The staff is now comprised of Keller, Skoglund, Heath Fillmyer, Jorge Lopez, Junis and Ian Kennedy, who returned from injury Sunday.