Royals scramble for a starter after Kennedy hits DL before facing Indians
Ian Kennedy was penciled in to start for the Royals on Wednesday night in the series finale against the Cleveland Indians in Kansas City.
The operative word was “penciled.”
“Not in ink,” Kennedy said before playing catch in advance of Tuesday night’s game.
Kennedy won’t be making that start. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 30 with a strained left oblique.
Manager Ned Yost said Kennedy felt a little something while playing catch, so the Royals opted not to have him start.
“It doesn’t make any sense to push him,” Yost said. “We’ll bang him one start. We don’t want to jeopardize it and then he could be out six to eight weeks.”
Yost said Kennedy would probably miss just one start before being plugged back into the rotation.
Kennedy agreed the cautious way was the better way.
“I’ve learned from the past of pitching through things,” he said. “And I’ve learned my lesson that compensating is not always the best thing. It leads to more and more soreness and stuff going on later in the season when you’re trying to compensate and do things. So I’m going to be smart.”
Yost did not reveal who would take Kennedy’s rotation spot, but the Royals will probably recall right-hander Trevor Oaks from Triple-A Omaha to start. Oaks has not pitched since Friday, so Wednesday would be his normal day to pitch.
Oaks has put up some remarkable numbers with the Royals’ Pacific Coast League affiliate recently. He is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his last seven starts with the Storm Chasers, allowing three earned runs and 29 hits over 42 innings in that span. He has walked 11 and struck out 27.
Oaks, 25, was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a three-team trade on Jan. 4, which sent Joakim Soria to the Chicago White Sox. Oaks was up briefly for the Royals earlier this season, going 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA in three appearances, including one start.
His lone start came on April 28 against the Chicago White Sox as the 26th man on the roster in the second game of a doubleheader. He allowed five earned runs on 12 hits over five innings, while walking one and striking out four.
The Indians used another grand slam, this one by Yan Gomes, to beat the Royals 6-4 on Tuesday night in the middle game of the series. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam in the Monday victory. The Indians top the American League with eight grand slams this season.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer, who is 7-6 with a 2.45 ERA, will start the series finale for the Indians. This will be his 18th start this season and his 150th career appearance.
Bauer lost his prior start, a 3-1 decision in Oakland. He allowed two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
This will be Bauer’s third start this season against the Royals with the first two at Progressive Field. He is 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in the two starts.
For his career, Bauer is 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts against the Royals. He is 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA in six starts at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals have lost five straight and 17 of 20. They have dropped to 35 games below .500 for the first time since ending the 2006 season at 62-100. They have scored four or fewer runs in 24 of their past 25 games.