KANSAS CITY -- The Royals went right down to the 10:30 a.m. CT deadline on Thursday to set their Opening Day roster and it featured several surprises, including placing right-hander Nate Karns on the 10-day disabled list, and designating for assignment right-hander Kyle Zimmer, a former first-round Draft pick, and
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals went right down to the 10:30 a.m. CT deadline on Thursday to set their Opening Day roster and it featured several surprises, including placing right-hander Nate Karns on the 10-day disabled list, and designating for assignment right-hander Kyle Zimmer, a former first-round Draft pick, and right-hander Wily Peralta.
As expected, the Royals placed catcher Salvador Perez (MCL tear) on the 10-day disabled list and called up catcher Cam Gallagher. The club also placed infielder Raul Mondesi (shoulder impingement) and outfielder Bubba Starling (oblique strain) on the 10-day DL.
Here are the highlights from a flurry of moves:
Royals manager Ned Yost said Karns, who had been slotted in as the No. 4 starter, experienced inflammation in his elbow during his last two Spring Training starts. Yost said when Karns returns from the DL, he will go to the bullpen and be used much the way the club used Mike Minor last year -- multi-inning reliever.
"My mindset, even entering Spring Training, was he was probably going to be a reliever for us," Yost said. "Kind of like in the vein of Mike Minor. Same thing, he'd get to the 60-65 pitch mark and start to fatigue or get tired or tight. But I wanted to give him an opportunity to start this spring."
Said Karns, "It wasn't anything where I couldn't do my job. It just got to the point where we're worried about how dependable I'd be every fifth day. It's not in my interest or the team right now to leave everyone in limbo."
Left-hander Eric Skoglund will take Karns' spot in the rotation for now, slotting behind Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel and Jakob Junis.
Zimmer, 26, was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, but he has not been able to stay healthy. A series of arm and shoulder issues restricted his career over the years, and he again was experiencing arm fatigue in Spring Training.
"He simply ran out of time," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "That's one thing that every player is experiencing. The clock is always running. There's always another player on the horizon, so we had to make moves for the here and now. Now, we hope we can keep him in the organization and continue to rehab him."
As expected, non-roster invitees Ryan Goins, an infielder, and right-hander Blaine Boyer made the Opening Day roster, thus predicating the DFA moves of Peralta and Zimmer to clear space on the 40-man roster.
The Royals remain on the hook for Peralta's $1.5 million big league salary, unless he is claimed or unless he opts for free agency. The Royals hope he can be outrighted to Triple-A Omaha.
Rule 5 Draft acquisitions Brad Keller and Burch Smith grabbed spots in the bullpen, as did lefties Tim Hill and Brian Flynn. After a terrific spring, Keller was a lock. Flynn is out of options. Hill's unique sidearm delivery impressed Yost and the coaching staff throughout the spring.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.