Royals' Gil Meche not likely to pitch the rest of the season

Gil Meche is now unlikely to pitch again the rest of the season, and Brian Bannister is headed to New York for a second opinion as both Royals pitchers deal with shoulder injuries.

Royals manager Trey Hillman would not reveal what Bannister's diagnosis is from team doctors, or whether he thought it possible for Bannister to pitch again this season.

The Royals hope Meche -- who has shoulder inflammation -- can play catch sometime soon, but are in no hurry to put him back in the rotation.

“I guess it's possible, but it's doubtful,” Hillman said. “We want to monitor his body, continue to treat it.”

Meche last pitched Aug. 29 against the Mariners, giving up seven runs and eight hits in four innings. He spent more than a month on the disabled list with back problems, and battled a dead arm earlier in the year.

Meche, who turned 31 this week, is 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 129 innings over 23 starts. He made 34 starts in each of his first two seasons with the Royals, pitching more than 200 innings with an ERA under 4.00 both years.

Bannister is 7-12 with a 4.73 ERA in 154 innings over 26 starts. He last pitched Sept. 2 against the A's, allowing three runs and three hits in just 1 1/3 innings, leaving with what has been described as a fatigued shoulder.