KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The Kansas City Royals' rotation will get a boost with Luke Hudson and Scott Elarton coming off the disabled list.
Manager Buddy Bell said on Wednesday that Hudson, who suffered shoulder stiffness in spring training, would start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics, while Elarton would start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. Elarton has shoulder surgery last Aug. 1 and is coming back ahead of schedule.
Bell said Brian Bannister, who was scheduled to start Thursday, would be available in the bullpen Wednesday night, but would be optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game.
``We've already talked with Brian,'' Bell said. ``We obviously want him to continue to start. He did a good job while he was up here. He still needs to continue to develop. ``
Hudson made four rehab starts with Omaha and Double-A Wichita, going 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA, allowing 19 hits, while striking out 26 and walking six in 16 1-3 innings.
Hudson began last season in the Kansas City bullpen and finished it in the rotation. He went 6-3 with a 4.79 ERA in 11 starts.
Elarton, who was the Royals' 2006 Opening Day starter, will replace Zack Greinke in the rotation. The Royals will make another roster move Saturday to activate Elarton.
Elarton went 2-3 with a 4.78 ERA in five rehab starts. He gave up 14 runs and 29 hits in 26 1-3 innings. Elarton was 4-9 with a 5.34 ERA in 20 starts last season before the surgery.
``We have a lot more depth than we've had in the past, which is good,'' Bell said. ``We can cover some losses we weren't able to do last year. For example, when we lost Elarton in midseason, we just really didn't have anywhere to go. When we lost (Mark) Redman at the beginning of the season, we really didn't have anywhere to go.
``At least we've had some people to plug in to where we feel good about such as Brian Bannister. Our depth is a lot better than it has been in the past. It's still not quite where we would like. It's a lot deeper than it has been.''

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