Kennedy likely to start Friday against Indians

Almonte being considered for Thursday's finale against Yanks

Kennedy likely to start Friday against Indians

NEW YORK -- Royals manager Ned Yost said he now is leaning toward keeping right-hander Ian Kennedy on his regular schedule, meaning Kennedy would start on Friday in the opener of a three-game set in Cleveland.

Yost had hinted on Monday that he was considering going with Kennedy on Thursday for the series finale against the Yankees. Kennedy threw just two innings in his last start on Sunday against the Twins and he could have been an option for Thursday.

But Kennedy just came off the disabled list after a hamstring injury to make that Sunday start.

"Not sure we really want to push him," Yost said. "We'll see."

Yost also indicated that right-hander Miguel Almonte could be an option to start on Thursday. Almonte has a 1.86 ERA for Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season.

Junis freezes Buxton

Yost said he did not want to bring back right-hander Jake Junis, who started on Sunday in the first game of the doubleheader, on short rest for a Thursday start. Junis was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after that start -- for him to return before 10 days, a corresponding disabled-list move would have to be made.

The Thursday spot in the rotation is open because of the forearm injury to right-hander Nathan Karns. Tests revealed no structural damage to Karns' forearm, but the Royals still are pondering a DL stint for Karns that would be retroactive to Saturday.

Karns escapes trouble

The Royals will need to open a roster spot when they activate outfielder Alex Gordon on Wednesday from three-day paternity leave.

In other moves
• Right-hander Al Alburquerque, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Omaha. Alburquerque has the option to reject that assignment.

• Also, left-hander Scott Alexander, who has been on the disabled list because of a strained hamstring, could be sent on a rehab assignment in the next few days, Yost said.

• And infielder/outfielder Hunter Dozier, on the 60-day disabled list, has been sent to Class A Advanced Wilmington to begin his rehab assignment.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.