Royals option Hochevar; Aviles to DL

Royals option Hochevar; Aviles to DL

ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Luke Hochevar, who took the loss for the Royals on Saturday against the Cardinals, was optioned to Triple-A Omaha as the club made a total of six roster moves following the game.

Shortstop Mike Aviles and reliever Robinson Tejeda were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Royals added pitchers John Bale and Roman Colon and infielder Tug Hulett, all recalled from Omaha. Bale had been on an injury rehabilitation assignment.

Aviles has a strained right forearm and Tejeda has tendinitis of the right rotator cuff. Aviles will go on the disabled list on Sunday; Tejeda's stay was backdated to Thursday.

Hochevar, after two poor outings, figured he'd turned a corner in Saturday afternoon's start against the Cardinals. He faltered in the first inning, giving up two runs, but felt he'd pitched well for the rest of his 6 1/3-inning outing. He was charged with four runs on seven hits.

After losing a battle to retain a rotation spot in Spring Training, Hochevar was optioned to Triple-A and fashioned a 5-0 record and a 0.90 ERA in six starts for Omaha. In three starts with the Royals, however, he was 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA.

Hochevar's return to Omaha might have been partially a result of Thursday's open date, which would have enabled the Royals to skip the right-hander's next turn. The Royals also could fill his spot with veteran righty Sidney Ponson, who is 1-5 with a 6.41 ERA. Ponson went to the bullpen when Hochevar was recalled.

Aviles was hitting just .183 and showing little sign of breaking out of his season-long struggles at bat. He sat out the four games through last Tuesday because of a sore right forearm which he admitted had been bothering him since Spring Training.

Since his return, Aviles was just 1-for-12. Caught in a 5-for-39 skid, Aviles has not had an extra-base hit since April 29, a span of 16 games. He's not yet been able to recapture the magic of his rookie season in which he hit .325 and was the Royals Player of the Year.

Hulett, primarily a second baseman for Omaha, is a left-handed batter who hit .296 (45-for-152) for Omaha. He had 11 doubles, four homers and 32 RBIs. He was acquired during Spring Training from Seattle.

Aviles' move to the DL apparently leaves Willie Bloomquist as the primary shortstop; he's started five games there and the Royals have won each game. Bloomquist is one of the Royals' top hitters at .312 and the club is hoping to break out of an offensive skid that reached 24 straight scoreless innings on Saturday.

Luis Hernandez, a defensive whiz at shortstop, is also on the roster as a backup.

Colon was 2-3 with two saves and a 2.84 ERA in 13 appearances for Omaha with 26 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. He was 6-7 with a 5.03 ERA and one save in 73 games (eight starts) in his career with Atlanta and Detroit.

Bale, counted on as one of the Royals' primary relievers this year, underwent thyroid surgery during Spring Training and started the season on the disabled list. During his injury rehab assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, he allowed one earned run in 6 2/3 innings.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.