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Royals call up pitcher Joe Blanton

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The former big leaguer will join the bullpen while Aaron Brooks is sent down.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have called up right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton from AAA Omaha, and optioned pitcher Aaron Brooks to Omaha.The 34-year old Blanton had a 3.89 ERA in 39 1/3 innings for the Stormchasers with 30 strikeout and 10 walks, primarily as a starter. He will serve as a reliever for the Royals, who promoted him in part, because he had an opt-out clause that allowed him to leave the organization if he was not on the Major League team by May 15.

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Blanton is a ten-year Major League veteran with 85 career wins and a 4.51 ERA with the Athletics, Phillies, Dodgers, and Angels. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2013, when he was 2-12 with a 6.04 ERA for the Angels in 132 2/3 innings. His best season was his rookie year of 2005 when he posted a 3.53 ERA in 201 innings for 3.8 rWAR. Of Blanton's 265 career Major League appearances, 248 have been as a starter. Blanton signed a minor league deal with the Royals this past winter after making just two minor league appearances in the Athletics organization last year.

Aaron Brooks was sent down to Omaha after a scoreless ninth inning against the Yankees Friday night that lowered his career ERA from 43.88 to 31.91. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Royals placed pitcher Brian Flynn on the 60-day disabled list.