Finnegan to start games at Triple-A Omaha

Rookie lefty had been used out of 'pen, but Royals changing gears

Finnegan to start games at Triple-A Omaha

CHICAGO -- The Royals have switched gears with rookie left-hander Brandon Finnegan and plan to have him serve as a starter with Triple-A Omaha, according to vice president and assistant general manager J.J. Picollo.

Finnegan, the Royals' top pick in 2014 and their No. 4 prospect, has been used exclusively out of the bullpen at the big league and Minor League levels this season.

Finnegan will start Saturday when Omaha plays at Albuquerque, and he will be on a 60-pitch limit for his first two starts.

The Royals believe Finnegan's arm slot has dropped and that if he starts working out of the windup again as a starter, he could return to form.

"He hasn't thrown from the windup since last July," Picollo said. "We'd like him to get his arm slot back, be a little higher, and that could help his command. We want him to be an option as a starter. But also, we can still use him in the bullpen if [manager] Ned [Yost] needs him."

In other news, right-hander Kyle Zimmer, overcoming shoulder stiffness, has been sent to Class A Lexington and will be used out of the bullpen to build up his arm strength.

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.