Royals claim minor-league reliever from Rangers

MINNEAPOLIS | The Royals bolstered their organizational pitching depth prior to Tuesday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins by claiming right-handed reliever John Bannister on waivers from Texas.

Bannister was placed the club’s 40-man roster and assigned to Class AA Northwest Arkansas. The move leaves the Royals with two openings on their 40-man roster.

The Royals must make another roster move prior to Thursday to accommodate Gil Meche’s return from the disabled list. Meche is tentatively scheduled to start Thursday’s series finale against the Twins at the Metrodome.

Bannister, 25, is 3-3 with a 5.96 ERA this season while splitting 38 games at Class AA Fresno and Class AAA Oklahoma. He was signed by the Rangers in 2002 as a non-drafted free agent.

Texas designated Bannister for assignment last Wednesday.