Slow-starting Royals put 40 percent of their rotation on the DL

Chris Young 

Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals’ climb back into contention in the AL Central just got more challenging.

The defending World Series champions announced Thursday that they placed right-handers Chris Young and Kris Medlen on the disabled list.

The 36-year-old Young, who is 1-5 with a 6.68 ERA in seven starts this season, has a forearm strain.

Medlen, 30, complained of shoulder discomfort in his last start, during which he allowed four runs in two innings. He is 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA in six starts this season.

Kansas City’s rotation ranks 23rd in the majors with a 4.73 ERA and has contributed to the team’s poor start. At 16-17, the Royals already are six games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.