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Royals shuffle rotation amid flurry of moves

Strahm returns to bullpen, Duffy eyeing start on Tuesday
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- With four games against the Twins within 48 hours this weekend, the Royals made several tweaks to their rotation and bullpen on Friday.

First, the Royals optioned right-hander Jake Junis to Triple-A Omaha and recalled left-hander Eric Skoglund. Junis started six games for the Royals this season, including Thursday's 7-3 loss to Detroit. Skoglund (1-1, 5.59 ERA) started three games earlier this season for the big league club, but he will be shifted to the bullpen for now.

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KANSAS CITY -- With four games against the Twins within 48 hours this weekend, the Royals made several tweaks to their rotation and bullpen on Friday.

First, the Royals optioned right-hander Jake Junis to Triple-A Omaha and recalled left-hander Eric Skoglund. Junis started six games for the Royals this season, including Thursday's 7-3 loss to Detroit. Skoglund (1-1, 5.59 ERA) started three games earlier this season for the big league club, but he will be shifted to the bullpen for now.

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The Royals also announced that right-hander Luke Farrell will make his Major League debut on Saturday, starting the opener of a day-night doubleheader. Farrell, the son of Boston manager John Farrell, is 7-3 with a 3.83 ERA at Omaha.

Farrell likely will be the 26th man for the doubleheader, but the Royals still will have to make an accompanying move to add him to the 40-man roster, which is full.

In addition, manager Ned Yost said left-hander Travis Wood likely will start Sunday's game in place of left-hander Matt Strahm, who will return to the bullpen after making three starts.

"If we don't have to use Woody before then," Yost said, "he'll start Sunday. That's why we signed him for situations like this. Veteran guy, strike-thrower."

There's more: Yost said there was a good chance that left-hander Danny Duffy, who made his second rehab start for Omaha on Thursday, will line up to start Tuesday's game in Seattle. Duffy went 4 1/3 innings and gave up one run while striking out five.

"[Duffy] can go 90-95 pitches [Tuesday]," Yost said. "We'll make that determination in the next day or two. We're leaning that way. He got to 70 pitches last night and said he could have gone three more innings."

Video: SF@KC: Wood gets grounder to escape bases loaded jam

Wood (1-2, 6.28 ERA) last started a game in 2015 for the Cubs, who made him a full-time reliever last season (77 appearances, 2.95 ERA). Yost said he believes Wood could be stretched out to 60-70 pitches on Sunday.

"He's a rubber-armed guy that can throw every day," Yost said. "He had a tough start this year, but his last five or six outings, he's back to banging strikes."

Wood competed for a starting job in the spring, but he lost out to right-hander Nate Karns, presently on the 60-day disabled list.

"It's going to be a long weekend and the bullpen by the last game will be shot," Wood said, "so hopefully I can go pretty long then."

Strahm struggled in his last two starts. He gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Tigers on Tuesday.

"Matt has been just getting a little overexposed second or third time through the order," Yost said. "Is he a starter long-term? Absolutely."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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