Blanton to provide bullpen depth at Triple-A Omaha

Royals' veteran pitcher accepted assignment, rather than opting out

Blanton to provide bullpen depth at Triple-A Omaha

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Joe Blanton has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Omaha to start the season, manager Ned Yost said Tuesday.

Blanton has a 2.79 ERA in three Cactus League games. The Royals view the veteran starter as needed depth at Omaha.

"I had a talk with him," Yost said. "[General manager] Dayton [Moore] had a talk with him. The thing is, with the makeup of our rotation and with the way things go in Major League baseball, over the course of a year, you need five to eight starters, in general.

"We feel comfortable with the way he's pitched. He has a veteran presence and we feel he can give us a veteran game if we need it."

Blanton could have opted out of his Minor League deal because he was not named to the Major League roster by Wednesday. He also can opt out on May 15 if he's not on the Major League roster.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.