KANSAS CITY -- The subject always seemed to come up when Joakim Soria was making his mark as a closer. Why not make him a starting pitcher?

Now that he's been replaced, at least temporarily as the Royals' closer, manager Ned Yost was asked if that topic has emerged.

"Let me put it this way: There's been no serious talk about that," Yost said.

Soria was a starter early in his pro career and even pitched a perfect game for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League just two days after being selected in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft by the Royals from the Padres.

"He's got the pitches to be a starter," Yost said. "But there's no thought of that right now."

Top lefty prospect may need Tommy John

KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-handed pitching prospect John Lamb could be headed for Tommy John surgery.

General manager Dayton Moore said that Lamb has an appointment on Wednesday in Los Angeles with Dr. Lewis Yocum to have his ailing left elbow examined and determine if reconstructive surgery is necessary.

"We've just got to get him fixed and move on, that's part of it," Moore said. "There are a lot of good pitchers that had Tommy John and went on to have great careers. We've got to anticipate that, if that's the case, he'll be one of them."

Lamb left a start for Double-A Northwest Arkansas after just a few pitches because of elbow discomfort. He has a 1-2 record and 3.09 ERA in eight games for the Naturals.

A fifth-round pick in the 2008 Draft, Lamb was named the organization's top pitcher last season, winning the Paul Splittorff Award after jumping three levels. He had a combined record of 10-7 with a 2.38 ERA for Class A Burlington, advanced Class A Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas. In 147 2/3 innings, he notched 159 strikeouts.

Last winter, he was rated ninth in MLB.com ranking of left-handed pitching prospects.

"He's just 20 years old and has youth on his side," Moore said.

Chen, Davies nearing return to KC rotation

KANSAS CITY -- Two injured Royals starters may be a step closer to returning to the rotation.

Bruce Chen has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 6 with a lat strain. Manager Ned Yost said right-hander Kyle Davies, who was placed on the DL May 18 with rotator cuff inflammation is also making strides toward recovery.

"Bruce is going to throw off the mound today, Davies' going to throw off the mound tomorrow," Yost said on Tuesday.

Despite the injury, Chen still leads the Royals with a 4-1 record. Davies is 1-6 with a 7.46 ERA.

In the pair's place, the Royals have filled the holes with Vin Mazzaro, Danny Duffy and Nate Adcock. Mazzaro lasted just one start, but Duffy, one of the Royals' top pitching prospects, has a 4.11 ERA in his three starts without a decision. Adcock is 1-0 with a 4.07 ERA in his two starts, though he has been moved to the bullpen, with Felipe Paulino scheduled to make the start in Wednesday's series finale with the Angels.