Chen scratched from Saturday’s start, Duffy likely to replace him

Danny Duffy will take the mound Saturday against Detroit in place of the injured Bruce Chen.  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals left-hander Bruce Chen will be scratched from Saturday’s start because of a bulging disk, and left-hander Danny Duffy likely will take his place against the Detroit Tigers.

Chen, who had an epidural shot for the disk on Sunday, was scheduled to throw a side session before Thursday’s game against the Jays.

But manager Ned Yost said Chen was in too much discomfort to even get loose enough to throw the session.

Yost indicated the Royals likely would have to put Chen on the disabled list, and then make a corresponding move by bringing up a pitcher from Triple-A Omaha. One possibility is left-hander Tim Collins, who is on a rehab assignment with Omaha. Collins pitched two innings Thursday.

Chen last pitched April 24 against Cleveland and his DL stint likely will be back-dated to then.

"I don’t think he’ll need the full 15 days on the DL," Yost said. "But we just need to see if that inflammation around the disc will calm down."

Duffy has appeared in six games with the Royals this season, all in relief. He last started in a game at Omaha on April 6, going six innings.

Yost indicated he expected to get "about 65-70" pitches out of Duffy on Saturday. After that, Yost wasn’t sure who would piggy-back with Duffy on the mound.

"We’ll have to see what happens Friday night and go from there," Yost said. "We’ll see who is available."

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at