The Royals today placed pitcher Nathan Karns on the 60-day disabled list, which sounds like a setback, but it already confirms what we already knew - Karns is not coming back for awhile. The move is retroactive to May 19, when he last pitched before he landed on the disabled list for forearm soreness, so he will be eligible to come off the disabled list July 20.
Karns looked like he was due to come back soon after having long-toss in early June, but he continued to experience tightness and had his schedule reset. According to Rustin Dodd, he will need several weeks to build his arm strength back up and will likely need a rehab assignment before returning to action. Karns missed the entire second half of last season with a back injury.
The Royals made the procedural maneuver because left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn had exhausted his rehab assignment period and had to be placed back on the 40-man roster. Putting Karns on the 60-day disabled list takes him off the 40-man roster. Flynn was optioned to AAA Omaha, where he had already made nine appearances under his rehab assignment. Flynn, who had injured himself by breaking his ribs in an off-season accident when he fell through his barn roof, has a 10.95 ERA with 17 runs allowed in 12 1⁄3 innings, although with 14 strikeouts and just two walks.
The Royals got more promising news from Danny Duffy, who is ahead of schedule and recently made a rehab start Saturday for Omaha. Duffy is expected to get three starts in Omaha before rejoining the Royals after the All-Star break.
Despite missing two-fifths of their rotation in June, Royals starters have excelled, leading the American League in starting pitching ERA this month at 3.92.