Royals

Royals sent Glenn Sparkman to Triple-A, more moves on horizon

Royals’ Ned Yost, Heath Fillmyer react to a 9-2 loss against the Yankees

Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer speak with reporters after a 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2019. Fillmyer gave up four home runs in four innings to take the loss.
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Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer speak with reporters after a 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2019. Fillmyer gave up four home runs in four innings to take the loss.

One day after the Yankees chased Royals starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer from the game after four innings, the Royals optioned relief pitcher Glenn Sparkman to Triple-A Omaha.

Sparkman pitched three innings (74 pitches) out of the bullpen on Saturday in relief of Fillmyer, and he likely would be unavailable for multiple days. However, the Royals have yet to announce a corresponding roster move adding another player to fill Sparkman’s roster spot.

Royals manager Ned Yost said another player would likely join the club on the road in Tampa, where they begin a series against the Rays on Monday. Yost declined to say who the team would be adding or even whether they’d likely add a pitcher or a position player.

The Royals could add another pitcher to serve as bullpen depth or a long man if they need multiple innings out of the reliever corps to finish out their road trip. They have an off-day on Thursday.

Duffy update: Royals vetern pitcher Danny Duffy pitched 5 1/3 innings, gave up four hits and one unearned run in a rehab outing for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Saturday night. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

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Yost said there’s a chance Duffy get added to the major league roster this week, but he hadn’t spoken to general manager Dayton Moore about a potential move involving Duffy since Saturday night’s rehab outing.

“I’ll talk to Dayton and see if Danny needs one more down there,” Yost said. “If not then we’ll probably let him make his next start up here.”

Rotation questions: Pitcher Brad Keller remains set to start on Monday, but his next start remains in question due to an MLB suspension. He’s appealing the five-game suspension for last week’s incident in Chicago involving White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.

If Keller misses his following start, the Royals will need to decide how to manipulate the starting rotation to assure regular rest for their pitchers.

As it stands now, Heath Fillmyer’s turn in the rotation would come up on Friday back in Kansas City. That start could be made by Danny Duffy if he’s not making another appearance in the minors.

Then the question becomes when to slot Keller, the club’s opening day starter, back into the rotation. Thursday’s off-day provides some room to maneuver, but considerations such as rest and sharpness of the starters will also be factors.

“We’ve gone 19 straight, and we don’t have another off-day for two weeks after that or 12 days,” Yost said. “It’s a good chance to give everybody an extra day. Now, we have to either give somebody a couple extra days or somebody stay on a five. We’ve looked at a bunch of different scenarios.”

Sunday’s lineup

1. Whit Merrifield, 2b

2. Adalberto Mondesi, ss

3. Alex Gordon, lf

4. Hunter Dozier, dh

5. Jorge Soler, rf

6. Chris Owings, 3b

7. Lucas Dudga, 1b

8. Martin Maldonado, c

9. Billy Hamilton, cf

Starting pitcher: Jorge Lopez (rh, 0-2, 4.30)

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.


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