KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The last-place Kansas City Royals shuffled their pitching staff Thursday, cutting reliever Todd Wellemeyer and sending starter Brian Bannister to the minors.
Wellemeyer was designated for assignment after pitching poorly in a 17-3 loss to Oakland. He gave up five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 2 2-3 innings.
Wellemeyer was 0-1 with a 10.34 ERA in 12 games. The righty allowed 25 hits and walked 11 in 15 2-3 innings.
The Royals purchased the contract of right-higher Jason Standridge from Triple-A Omaha to replace Wellemeyer, who has also pitched in the majors with the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins.
Standridge was 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in three relief appearances last month with Kansas City.
Before the game, the Royals optioned Bannister to Omaha and activated Luke Hudson, who started Thursday against Oakland. Hudson took the loss, giving up five runs in two-plus innings.
Hudson had been on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He was 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA in four minor league rehab starts with Omaha and Double-A Wichita.
Bannister was acquired in a December trade with the New York Mets for Ambiorix Burgos. The righty was 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in three starts with Kansas City.
The Royals could be making another roster move on Friday. The club was waiting for the MRI exam results on catcher Jason LaRue, who was hit in the left shoulder by a pitch from Wellemeyer in the third inning.
``It doesn't look very good,'' Royals manager Buddy Bell.
The Royals also traded Omaha first baseman Graham Koonce to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named. He hit .243 with four home runs and 14 RBIs for the Royals' Pacific Coast League club.
Koonce appeared in seven spring training games with Kansas City as a non-roster invitee. He hit .125 in six games in 2003 with Oakland in his only big league action.

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