Edinson Volquez offered positive reviews after throwing a 50-pitch bullpen session on Friday here at the Alamodome. The workout served as a minor hurdle to clear after he reported arm fatigue earlier this week.
"I’m good," Volquez said. "I’m ready to go. I’m ready to pitch any time.”
The Royals scratched Volquez’s scheduled start here in San Antonio after his bout with “dead arm.” But manager Ned Yost said Saturday that Volquez will likely return to the mound in a minor-league game this coming week. If he remains on his regular five-day routine, he would throw Wednesday. The Royals have an off day on Monday.
"It didn’t feel like [I had] my best power before,” Volquez said. “But now, I feel like I could pitch right now."
Right-hander Dillon Gee started in place of Volquez on Friday night. On Saturday afternoon, right-hander Chien-Ming Wang filled in for Yordano Ventura, who is recovering from the flu and didn’t make the trip to San Antonio. Ventura worked out Friday at the Royals’ complex in Surprise and is expected to start in a minor-league game this week as well.
The Royals have yet to announce an opening-day starter or set their rotation for the season, though most tangible signs point to right-handers Chris Young and Kris Medlen beginning the season in the rotation. The opening day assignment will likely fall to Ventura — who started the opener last season — or Volquez, who posted a 3.55 ERA in 2015. For now, though, the Royals will exercise caution with both pitchers.
"Eddie felt great, had a great bullpen," Yost said. "But we’ll put [Volquez and Ventura] in a minor-league start where we can control the environment, just to be safe with both of those guys."
Royals could face roster decision with Ohlendorf
Right-handed reliever Ross Ohlendorf can opt out of his minor-league deal on Sunday, which could force the Royals to add him to the 40-man roster or risk losing him.
Ohlendorf, 33, had a slow start during spring training, allowing five earned runs in two innings in his first two appearances. He’s allowed just one earned run in his last six innings, including four scoreless appearances.
The Royals already added right-hander Dillon Gee to the 40-man roster this spring, placing left-hander Mike Minor on the 60-day disabled list.