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Royals call up Jake Junis to start today

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Al Alburquerque is designated for assignment

Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals have recalled right-handed pitcher Jake Junis from AAA Omaha to start the first game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins today, according to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Junis was scratched from his start for Omaha on Saturday. He has a 3.07 ERA in five starts with the Storm Chasers with 36 strikeouts in 29 13 innings. He has been up in two stints with the Royals this year, tossing two scoreless innings.

To make room for Junis, the Royals designated reliever Al Alburquerque for assignment. The 30-year old right-hander had struck out six in four innings pitched, but struggled with his command, walking two hitters to load the bases that would lead to the eventual winning run in Friday’s loss against the Twins.

Ian Kennedy is expected to be activated from the disabled list and start the second game of the doubleheader. Junis could be demoted at that point to make room for Kennedy. The Royals can also add a 26th player to the roster, and have reportedly added Miguel Almonte to the bullpen. The 24-year old Almonte had a 1.86 ERA in 27 innings for AA Northwest Arkansas and was scratched from his start on Saturday. He was previously up with the Royals this year but did not make an appearance.

Jason Hammel was previously scheduled to start today, but with the rainout, the Royals would like to push him back. There is also concern they may need to skip Nate Karns’ turn in the rotation after he left his last start with forearm stiffness.

Right-hander Phil Hughes will start the first game for the Twins with lefty Adalberto Mejia starting the second game. The first game will begin at 1:10 p.m. with the second game starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.