Southpaw Jonathan Sanchez landed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with tendinitis in his left bicep. Felipe Paulino returned from the DL to make his first start of the season on Saturday. Paulino replaced Luis Mendoza, who moved into a long-relief role.
Sanchez's injury alters the rotation's order. Left-hander Danny Duffy will start on Sunday in place of Sanchez and on regular rest, thanks to Thursday's off-day. Bruce Chen will start Monday and the club will need a fifth starter on Tuesday in Texas.
"I'll look two days before that and see who's available, between Mendoza, [Nate] Adcock and [Vin] Mazzaro," manager Ned Yost said.
Sanchez is expected to miss two starts. Adcock and Mazzaro, like Mendoza, are currently serving as long men in the Royals' bullpen.
In his first start of the year, Paulino, who will start Friday's series opener against the White Sox, held the Yankees scoreless for six innings in Kansas City's 5-1 win.
Chicago will counter on Friday with right-hander Gavin Floyd, who has been stellar over his last three outings, with a 2-1 record and 1.71 ERA. In his last start, Floyd limited the Tigers to two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 triumph. He didn't factor into the decision, however, as he departed with his team in a 2-1 hole. Adam Dunn kept Floyd from receiving a loss with a game-winning two-run home run.
Floyd was appreciative.
"It's a heartbreaker when you lose them," Floyd said. "It's exciting when you win them."
Royals: Giavotella replaces Sanchez on roster
Kansas City recalled infielder Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha to take Sanchez's spot on the roster. The move reduces the Royals' staff to 12 pitchers, which Yost said he prefers.
Sanchez said he has had problems with his bicep in his last two starts, in which he's 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.
"It's normal," he said. "I have it every year. I just get it and it's no big deal."
Giovatella batted fifth for the Royals on Wednesday. He was batting .331 with five homers in 31 games for Omaha.
"We wanted another right-handed bat on our team, and Johnny's been killing the ball in Triple-A," Yost said.
White Sox: Sale's role in flux before MRI
Left-hander Chris Sale, whom the White Sox moved from the starting rotation into the closer role last week, was scheduled to have an MRI on his pitching elbow on Thursday. The club stressed that the MRI is strictly precautionary.
"Everything is swirling around him having pictures taken tomorrow," manager Robin Ventura said before his club's 8-1 victory in Cleveland on Wednesday. "He's not hurt. It's more monitoring what's going on and seeing where it's at. It's kind of precautionary stuff that happens all the time."
Sale posted a 3-1 record and 2.89 ERA in six starts before the club announced last Friday that he would relocate to the bullpen. He has made one relief appearance, in Tuesday's win over Cleveland. Ventura said the White Sox will make a final decision on Sale's role once the club gets his MRI results. Sale said that he has enjoyed transitioning into a starting role after making all 79 of his appearances out of the bullpen the previous two seasons.
"That's something we'll go over when we get back home," Ventura said. "This all happened pretty fast. Getting everybody in the room and expressing it face to face is probably the best thing to do. That's when you get the most information and make the right decision.
"We'll see when we get everybody in the room. Personally, I'm probably not making that decision. [Sale's return to the rotation] could happen. I'm not saying it can't but I would be surprised if it did."
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn hit his 10th home run in Wednesday's 8-1 win against the Indians. Dunn hit 11 long balls all of last year.
Dunn has at least one strikeout in 36 consecutive games, the longest streak by a position player since 1918.