Notes: Royals rotate the rotation

Notes: Royals rotate the rotation

KANSAS CITY -- Expect the Royals starting rotation to undergo a few changes during the team's weekend series with the Blue Jays.

D.J. Carrasco's ailing right shoulder will push him back one day in the rotation -- from Saturday to Sunday -- while Runelvys Hernandez's impending 10-game suspension will leave the Royals with just four starters for at least one go-round through the starting staff.

Couple all that with the team's plan to convert right-hander Kyle Snyder to a starter -- plus the telling fact that Snyder's last start was Monday at Triple-A Omaha -- and all signs point to a Snyder callup.

The only thing that stands in the way is an official announcement.

"Our rotation is Runelvys [Hernandez] on Friday, a TBA [to be announced] on Saturday and D.J. [Carrasco] on Sunday," manager Buddy Bell said during his pregame meeting with the press.

"So Snyder is pitching tomorrow?" one reporter asked.

"I didn't say that," Bell said.

He didn't say it -- not directly, at least -- and neither did Snyder, who strolled through the team's clubhouse Friday afternoon but politely refused to comment on the situation.

If, indeed, Snyder is to start Saturday, his recent rehabilitation will have to be deemed a success.

He appeared in six games for Omaha -- three starts -- and one at Double-A Wichita. Combined, he went 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA. During his most recent outing, on Monday against Round Rock, Snyder allowed just one hit over six innings of shutout ball. He struck out seven and walked none.

Proud papa: Mike Sweeney woke up a little early Friday morning -- 6:30 a.m., to be exact -- and showed up at Kauffman Stadium a little late. He had a pretty good excuse, though.

Sweeney and his wife, Shara, were busy celebrating the birth of their second child, McKara Lynn, who was born at 10:30 a.m., and measured in at 18 inches and six pounds, six ounces.

"My family always comes first," said Sweeney, who also celebrated his 32nd birthday Friday. "But I spoke with my wife and she told me, 'Mike, if I'm feeling fine, go be with your team.' One of the things the skipper preaches here is to be a good teammate.

"I'm running on fumes, but I'm excited for tonight's game, to be here with my teammates and hurry back to the hospital as soon as I can."

Indeed, Sweeney was prepared for a quick return to his family -- he was still wearing the clear plastic hospital bracelet on his left wrist.

"This is the greatest gift God's ever given me on my birthday," he said. "My little daughter."

Royals trivia question: Though the birth of a little girl trumps any other birthday celebrations, Sweeney's birthday last season was one to remember, too. Why? (See answer below)

Finding a home: What a whirlwind week for outfielder Chip Ambres.

Ambres, who was sent from the Red Sox to the Royals on Tuesday for Tony Graffanino, made his Major League debut Wednesday night at Cleveland, then flew back to Kansas City on Thursday. And he still needed a place to live.

Enter Joe McEwing, who has opened his home to Ambres until the rookie finds a more permanent residence.

"That's what people did for me when I came up," McEwing said. "Baseball's like a fraternity and that's the way it should be. Somebody did it for me and you pass it down.

"When I was a rookie, I wasn't allowed to pay for anything. I couldn't buy dinner, I wasn't allowed to buy beer or soda, they wouldn't let me. When you get that opportunity, you do it for other people."

The generosity was certainly not lost on Ambres.

"He's a great guy," Ambres said of McEwing. "It's one of those deals where [the veterans] see the new guy come in, he doesn't really know the ropes, so they take him under their wing and show him around."

Ambres is one of a few Royals rookies who have taken up temporary residence with a teammate this season. Outfielder Emil Brown slept on Zack Greinke's couch in early April, while right-hander Leo Nunez lived with Jose Lima after his callup from the Minors.

Farm report: Ryan Jensen returned to the mound for Triple-A Omaha on Thursday, but wasn't terribly effective. He allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings, while the O-Royals lost to Round Rock, 8-3. ... Mitch Maier batted 2-for-4 and smacked his 40th double of the season but Double-A Wichita lost to Springfield, 6-4. ... Class A High Desert was off. ... Justin Sherman allowed one run over six innings as Class A Burlington won its seventh straight game, 8-3, over Kane County. ... Rookie-level Idaho Falls lost its fourth straight game, 3-1, to Billings. ... Rookie-level Arizona lost to the Brewers, 5-4.

Trivia answer: Sweeney celebrated his 31st birthday -- July 22, 2004 -- by hitting two homers, including a grand slam, and driving in seven runs in the Royals' 13-7 win at Detroit.

On deck: The Royals will continue their three-game weekend series with the Blue Jays -- and their six-game homestand -- at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have yet to announce a starter, but Snyder (0-0, 4.15 ERA) is expected to be called up and inserted into the rotation. Right-hander David Bush (0-5, 4.89 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays.

Matt LaWell is a contributing writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.