KANSAS CITY -- A fresh, smiling face was back in the Royals' clubhouse on Saturday -- left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy, who has been absent since undergoing ligament replacement in his left elbow. He'll be continuing most of his rehabilitation work in Kansas City.
"I feel great, a lot of my range of motion is back," Duffy said. "I'm just trying to cheer on the squad, get the pom-poms and we're good."
Duffy was 2-2 in six starts this year before having Tommy John surgery on June 13. He's been rehabbing in Arizona.
"It's tough not being around them, but you've got to do what you've got to do," he said. "I'm lucky to have the team bring me back here and have the chance to rehab out here."
Clearly he hopes to be back pitching at some point next season.
"Opening Day is just around the corner," Duffy said.
Royals set pitching records in marathon loss
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' marathon contest with the White Sox on Friday saw several team records fall with the number of pitchers used.
Both clubs used nine different pitchers in the 14-inning affair -- a 9-8 loss for the Royals -- that lasted 5 hours and 23 minutes. Kansas City set a new franchise record for number of arms used in a single game, while the nine pitchers used by an opponent is also a club record.
The combined 18 hurlers used also is a franchise high for Kansas City, eclipsing the 16 used by the Royals and Cardinals on June 20, 2007 in St. Louis.
"You don't ever think that's going to happen," said reliever Louis Coleman, one of nine Royals pitchers to see action on Friday. "By the end of the night, everybody's pitched, and everybody's working their tail off. It was just a full team effort. It just [stinks] that we played as hard as we did, played as well as we did, and came up short."
The White Sox have used nine pitchers twice in a game this season for the first time in their franchise history. They previously did it on June 2 against the Mariners.
The game was the longest, time-wise, the Royals have played this season, passing the five hours even it took for them to defeat the Cardinals on June 17. It was not the longest game by innings, though, as the Royals have twice gone 15 innings: May 16 against the Orioles, and the aforementioned contest in St. Louis on June 17.
Friday's marathon also featured a few amazing feats, as 542 total pitches were thrown, along with a total of 51 baserunners, while the teams combined to strand 28 runners.
The Royals fell to 2-4 this season in extra-inning games with the loss.
Manager Ned Yost said that his bullpen was in fine shape for Saturday's game against the White Sox, and said that even the extended Coleman and Tim Collins would be available if needed.
"We did a pretty good job with keeping guys with their pitch count under 15 or right at 15 for everybody but two guys in that 'pen," Yost said. "We wanted to maybe extend a few guys, and we knew we could extend Coleman because he could bounce back. We wanted to extend Collins two, maybe three innings, but after a 33-pitch inning that went out the window."
Getz tabbed as Royals' emergency catcher
KANSAS CITY -- So now we know. With Mitch Maier off the roster, the Royals' emergency catcher is ... ta-da, second baseman Chris Getz.
"I have a lot of experience back there, considering Little League," Getz said. "I caught up until I was 12, so I'm their guy."
Manager Ned Yost used both catchers, Salvador Perez and Brayan Pena, in Friday night's 14-inning loss to the White Sox and he checked with Getz to see if he could fill in if something happened to Pena. Getz readily agreed and, in fact, he was held back just in case and didn't get in the game.
"In Little League, I was the shortstop, but we didn't have many kids that could actually catch so I caught," Getz said. "And one of my things was I'd just fake a passed ball so the runner would go and I could throw him out. I don't know if they'd bite on that up here."
"They'd probably expect me to have a lot of passed balls, so I could lure 'em," he said.
Maier, an outfielder back in the organization after accepting an assignment to Triple-A Omaha, started his pro career as a catcher. He was also the Royals' emergency pitcher, used twice in the last two years. And, in fact, Getz also could take the mound in a pinch, because he was a closer in high school and college.
"Have I been anointed all this?" Getz said. "What a day. Little did I know."
Aside from his new catching and pitching duties, Getz was also in Saturday night's lineup at second base.
"Clearly, that's secondary, no pun intended," he said wryly.
Maier sent to Omaha after clearing waivers
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Mitch Maier will remain in the Royals' organization.
Maier was designated for assignment on July 4, and it was announced on Saturday that he cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Omaha.
The outfielder is the longest tenured member of the Royals' organization. The former first-round Draft pick in 2003 made his big league debut as part of a five-game stint in 2006. From 2008-12, he played in 355 games with the Royals, hitting .249 during that time.
A logjam in the outfield over the last two seasons, though, has limited Maier's playing time. He played in just 45 games a season ago, and saw action in just 32 games this season for the Royals.
Manager Ned Yost said that heading back to Omaha would allow Maier an opportunity to play.
"He gets to go play and get sharp again," Yost said. "He's a viable guy, but he just needs to play. He sat here for two years, and he just needs to go back out and play. He'll go down there and do well. We'll see him again."
Zimmer makes his debut with Surprise Royals
KANSAS CITY -- First-round Draft pick Kyle Zimmer made his professional debut on Friday with the Surprise Royals.
Zimmer, a right-hander, tossed two innings for the Royals' Rookie League club, allowing two hits and striking out three Arizona Giants.
The Royals selected Zimmer with the fifth overall pick in June's First-Year Player Draft out of the University of San Francisco. Zimmer was recovering from a groin injury when he was drafted, and members of the Royals' player development staff said on the day he signed that it would be a few weeks before he would make his debut.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said after Zimmer signed that the right-hander could end this season in the Midwest League and start next season in the Carolina League.
The Miami Marlins signed former Royals catcher Humberto Quintero to a Minor League deal on Saturday.
The Royals designated Quintero for assignment on June 27 and he was declared a free agent on July 7. The Marlins assigned him to Triple-A New Orleans. Quintero appeared in 43 games for the Royals this season. He batted .232 with one home run and 19 RBIs.
Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi led the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers to a 7-1 win over the Iowa Cubs on Saturday. Myers belted the 28th home run of his Minor League season, while Odorizzi improved to 6-0 for Omaha with the win.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.