Notes: Bautista to start on Monday
Right-hander to return from DL; Sanders still sidelined
CHICAGO -- So who'll start for the Royals on Monday night instead of Joe Mays?
Jimmy Gobble? Nope. Mike Wood? Nope.
It'll be right-hander Denny Bautista, who has been on the disabled list since April 14 with a sore right pectoral muscle. He'll face the Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Bautista had been expected to make a start or two in the Minor Leagues on an injury rehabilitation assignment but that's been scrubbed. He showed enough in a simulated game appearance to return to the rotation.
"Health-wise, he's fine," Royals manager Buddy Bell said on Saturday. "Obviously this isn't a rehab start but we'll protect him. We'll have Jimmy and Woody to pick him up.
"He says he's been healthy for a couple of weeks, no problems."
Bautista made just two starts, going 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA, before being shut down.
When he's activated, the Royals will have to drop a player from the roster.
Mays, taken out of the rotation after going 0-4 with a 10.27 ERA, has not yet accepted an option assignment to Triple-A Omaha. He can decline because of his five-plus seasons of Major League service.
Mays has until Monday to decide. The Royals could then assign him to the bullpen, release him, designate him for assignment and put him on waivers, or trade him.
Bell pronounced himself pleased with Gobble's work in the bullpen.
"Jimmy's doing great," Bell said. "It's a good role for him now. Same with Woody."
Hudson clears: Right-hander Luke Hudson has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Omaha, general manager Allard Baird said.
Hudson was 0-3 with an 8.74 ERA in nine games for the Royals.
Sanders still out: Right fielder Reggie Sanders, who left Thursday night's game at Minnesota with a tight left hamstring, was out of the starting lineup for the second night in Chicago.
"He's still day-to-day," Baird said.
Aaron Guiel was in right field again.
No thinking allowed: Scott Elarton, who pitched very well in Friday night's 5-4 victory over the White Sox, gave his mind a rest.
"When you can eliminate your brain from the equation, sometimes it helps," Elarton said.
"I just like to pitch by feel. I don't rely a lot on scouting reports. If you go by your gut and be aggressive, it usually works out."
Elarton gave up just one run and three hits in six innings against the White Sox. He didn't get the win and remained 0-4, but lowered his ERA to 3.86. In his previous start, he was ripped for five runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Oakland A's.
"Sometimes you start thinking too much and that's what I was doing against Oakland," Elarton said.
Up next: The Royals will conclude their three-game series against the White Sox at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. In a matchup of left-handers, the Royals will send Mark Redman (0-2, 7.00 ERA) against the White Sox Mark Buehrle (3-2, 3.76 ERA).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.