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Royals put Bale on disabled list, recall Peralta

ANAHEIM, Calif. | Royals left-hander John Bale will now get until May 1, at a minimum, to build some strength back in his “dead arm.”

The club placed Bale on the 15-day disabled list before Thursday’s game against the Angels. Reliever Joel Peralta was recalled from Class AAA Omaha to fill the roster vacancy.

The decision to recall Peralta suggests the club will make another move before Sunday to replace Bale in the rotation. The likely choice is Luke Hochevar, who will be able to pitch that day on normal rest.

Bale is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA in his three starts. He pitched better than his numbers suggest in his first two outings but admitted to problems after allowing five runs and seven hits in three-plus innings Tuesday in an 11-6 loss at Seattle.

The injury represents a bitter disappointment for Bale, a former reliever who lost 25 pounds in the off-season in order to gain the stamina required of a starting pitcher. He won a job in the rotation through a series of strong spring performances.

Peralta, 32, spent much of the last two seasons with the Royals but found himself squeezed out of a job this spring because, in part, he had options remaining. He pitched 10 scoreless innings in four appearances at Omaha before his recall.

Peralta was 1-3 with a 3.80 ERA last season for the Royals in 62 games.

Peralta’s return could be brief if the Royals choose to send him back to Omaha in order to add a starter, presumably Hochevar, for Sunday’s game in Oakland.

The alternative would be to keep Peralta and clear space for a starter by cutting someone else. That would likely put Hideo Nomo at risk; Nomo has allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings over two appearances.

The other bullpen members, entering Thursday’s game, had yielded a combined three runs in 33 innings.

Hochevar is 1-1 in three starts at Omaha with a 2.60 ERA after allowing five earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. He pitched six shutout innings Tuesday in a 4-1 victory at Nashville.

To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4352 or send e-mail to bdutton@kcstar.com.

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