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Royals option Brandon Finnegan to the minors

The lefty will be headed to Northwest Arkansas to be a starting pitcher.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals made a number of cuts on Sunday evening, including demoting left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan to AA Northwest Arkansas, according to the Star's Andy McCullough. Finnegan had a rough camp in his first spring training as a professional player, giving up seven runs (six earned) in 6 1/3 innings, capped off by a walk-off home run served up to White Sox prospect Courtney Hawkins on Sunday.

"We just felt that it was better for him to go down," manager Ned Yost said. "He had a huge workload last year. He hasn’t been real sharp in spring training. Just get him back down and get him going again. And have him ready for whenever we need him."

The demotion was not totally unexpected, although the Royals were debating keeping the 2014 first-round pick in their Major League bullpen after he impressed the club with his relief work for the Major League club during last year's pennant run. Finnegan gave up just one run over seven innings of work last September, and just two runs over his first five innings of post-season relief work. He was competing for a left-handed relief role once Tim Collins was lost for the season with Tommy John surgery, but with Franklin Morales locking down a role, and Brian Flynn pitching well in camp, Finnegan made the club's decision easy.

Finnegan will pitch for AA Northwest Arkansas in the Texas League and could be part of a rotation that includes other top Royals pitching prospects such as Sean Manaea, Miguel Almonte, and Christian Binford, and could include Kyle Zimmer once he is healthy.

The Royals also reassigned catchers Francisco Pena and Parker Morin, infielder Cheslor Cutbhert, outfielders Brett Eibner, Reymond Fuentes, and Terrence Gore, pitchers Michael Mariot and Yohan Pino to minor league camp.