ARLINGTON -- With Royals manager Ned Yost expressing interest in expanding to an eight-man bullpen, the team is closely following the progress of lefty Matt Strahm, who was sent to Triple-A Omaha after struggling with his command in three early outings for Kansas City.
Strahm posted a 47.25 ERA with six walks in just 1 1/3 innings for the Royals in the first week of the season. But since being sent down, entering Thursday, Strahm had tossed five scoreless innings in four appearances, striking out seven, allowing two hits and walking none.
Asked how many of those kinds of outings the Royals need to see before Strahm earns his way back to the Majors, Yost said, "As many as we can" -- but he also said "the reports are good" out of Omaha. Yost hinted Thursday that the Royals would soon be adding an eighth reliever, perhaps during this four-game series against the Rangers.
"I'm comfortable tonight with seven [relievers]," Yost said. "It's a day-to-day thing. My preference right now is to have eight, but we can get by with seven."
Kansas City's relievers have had a relatively light workload this season, having thrown the fewest innings (40 2/3) among any American League club entering Thursday, but two of its three left-handed relievers have not fared well -- another reason why Strahm could be back in a hurry. Mike Minor and Travis Wood had combined for a 10.38 ERA in 8 2/3 innings.
Strahm had a 1.23 ERA in 21 appearances as a rookie last season, striking out 30 and walking 11.
Just one 'E' for Royals' 'D'
Yost praised the defense when he was reminded it had made only one error -- the lowest total in the Major Leagues -- entering Thursday's game against the Rangers. No other team had made fewer than four errors.
"We've got a group of athletic players with really good range just about at every position," Yost said. "We're just so strong up the middle, with an All-Star behind the plate [Salvador Perez], an All-Star at short [Alcides Escobar], an All-Star at center [Lorenzo Cain]. [Second baseman Raul Mondesi] is a rookie, but has tremendous range, tremendous athleticism. [Third baseman Mike Moustakas] has always been solid, he's an All-Star. … We just go out and play."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.