The Royals optioned reliever Aaron Crow to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to open up a roster spot for right-hander Liam Hendriks to make a spot start Wednesday night against Minnesota.

Hendriks was called up from Triple-A Omaha to start in place of Yordano Ventura, whose turn was skipped in the rotation so that he can rest his sore lower back.

Crow is headed to Northwest Arkansas because Omaha is chasing a playoff spot in the Pacific Coast League. The plan is for the former All-Star to make a couple of appearances to stay sharp before returning to the Royals next week, when rosters are allowed to expand.

Crow is 6-1 with a 3.86 ERA, though he has struggled the past few weeks.