Royals cut Tomko, call up Rosa from minor leagues

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.

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.