The Royals’ struggling bullpen claimed another victim Thursday when the club designated veteran Brett Tomko for assignment before its game against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.
Right-hander Carlos Rosa, 23, was recalled from Class AAA Omaha to replace Tomko, 35, on the roster.
Tomko’s earned-run average soared to 6.97 after he allowed three runs in the ninth inning in Wednesday’s 11-5 loss to the Rangers. That followed a disastrous outing Tuesday when he allowed two runs in a 6-5 loss.
The Royals now have 10 days to trade or release Tomko, who signed a one-year contract in January for $3 million. He was 2-7 this season in 16 games, including 10 starts.
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Tomko’s salary is guaranteed. If he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, any club can sign him for a pro-rated portion of the $390,000 minimum salary for major-league players. The Royals would be obligated for the balance.
The move is the second in recent days by the Royals to shake up a struggling bullpen. Joel Peralta was optioned last Saturday to Omaha and replaced by Jeff Fulchino.
Rosa entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the organization’s No. 6 prospect. He has been on the organization’s 40-man roster but has never been in uniform for a big-league game until Thursday.
Rosa was a combined 6-3 with a 2.19 ERA this season in 13 games, all starts, while splitting time at Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas.