Third baseman Alex Gordon and pitcher Lenny DiNardo are the latest reinforcements to join the Royals for the season’s closing run. Both arrived Tuesday, one day after Class AAA Omaha completed its 64-80 season.
Gordon spent the last three weeks at Omaha after struggling to regain his form upon returning from a three-month absence following surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right hip.
The Aug. 18 demotion delayed his chance to become a free agent by at least one year — or until after the 2013 season at the earliest. Gordon batted .313 with a .418 on-base percentage in 17 games at Omaha. He also had two homers and 10 RBIs.
DiNardo appears likely to go immediately into the rotation as the starter for Thursday’s series finale against Detroit at Kauffman Stadium.
Such a move would enable the Royals to provide Zack Greinke with at least one additional day of rest after throwing a career-high 125 pitches last Saturday against the Angels.
DiNardo, 29, was 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 29 games, including 23 starts, at Omaha. He was also the club’s only selection on the Pacific Coast League mid-season and post-season All-Star teams.
The Royals signed DiNardo as a minor-league free agent on Dec. 20, 2008. He spent parts of the previous five seasons in the big leagues with Boston and Oakland while going 10-15 with a 4.93 ERA in 89 games, including 26 starts.
To add DiNardo to the 40-man roster, the Royals shifted reliever Doug Waechter from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Players on the 60-day list do not count against a club’s 40-man roster.
Waechter was diagnosed last month with a strained right shoulder after making just two appearances upon his return from nearly four months on the disabled list. His previous injuries were a strained elbow and a strained oblique.