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SAS CITY -- Come 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday, someone will be starting for the Royals against the Mariners. Just who it will be, though, is a mystery.
Monday's starter, Jonathan Sanchez, lasted just 1 1/3 innings while giving up seven runs, forcing Tuesday's originally scheduled starter, Everett Teaford, into a long-relief role. He ended up throwing 79 pitches over the game's final five innings, and he won't be making the start Tuesday.
The list of candidates at Triple-A Omaha is a murky one. The most logical choice seemed to be veteran lefty Doug Davis, but he was eliminated from contention when he started Tuesday afternoon for the Storm Chasers. Will Smith and Vin Mazzaro have each made starts for the Royals this season, but both pitched on Friday, so they're unlikely to be promoted to start. Prized prospect Jake Odorizzi started on Saturday, making him unlikely as well. Another option could be Ryan Verdugo, who has made 15 starts for Omaha, but he has recently been pitching mainly in a relief role.
As for Teaford's entrance Monday, Royals manager Ned Yost said there just weren't many options.
"There was not really much we could do," Yost said Monday. "I knew that we were either going to blow the bullpen out or blow tomorrow's starting pitcher out, so we took the second route. I knew that we would find a way to get somebody else up here to start tomorrow, but I wanted to just try to get through this game with [Louis] Coleman and with Teaford, and they both did a good job. They ended up throwing 7 2/3 innings, so they saved the 'pen tonight so they're in great shape for tomorrow."
Whether or not Teaford would start Tuesday was originally in doubt back on Friday, when he was forced into emergency relief in the 13th and 14th innings of the Royals' game with the White Sox. But Yost said he would pitch as scheduled. After Monday, that won't be the case.
"You never know what's going to happen, but hey, that's baseball sometimes," Teaford said Monday. "Sometimes you end up out there when you don't think you're going to be, kind of like Friday a little bit -- except it didn't go extras, which was nice. You've got to get outs regardless of when you go in, and I feel like I did all right with that tonight."
As of his postgame press conference Monday night, manager Ned Yost didn't know who the next day's starter would be, saying he hadn't had an opportunity to talk with general manager Dayton Moore. Moore later added that no move would be made Monday night.
With Teaford unavailable and no true long-relief man, the Royals might have to make a pair of moves and bring in two pitchers. One of the above mentioned pitchers could be called up to be a reliever.
"We might need two pitchers. We'll just wait and see," Yost said.