© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

08/15/08 7:03 PM ET

Royals option Davies to Triple-A

KC calls up righty Fulchino from Omaha to reinforce bullpen

NEW YORK -- Royals starter Kyle Davies was optioned to Omaha on Friday and reliever Jeff Fulchino was recalled from Triple-A.

Davies had a 5-4 record and a 4.71 ERA in 14 starts. He took the loss on Thursday against the White Sox, giving up three runs in five innings.

Fulchino, a right-hander, was called up for his second stint with the Royals. Earlier this season, he appeared in five games with no record and a 9.00 ERA. For Omaha, he was 3-4 with a 4.84 ERA in 25 games.

Pitching coach Bob McClure said that the Davies move was possible because the Royals will not need a fifth starter on the next turn of the rotation, due to the fact that Zack Greinke is returning from a suspension and there's an open date next Monday.

In the meantime, Davies can pitch at Omaha and work on such items like his fastball command. The move means that Gil Meche, the starter on Friday night against the Yankees, will probably start next Wednesday night at Cleveland in Davies' spot.

"It's good to see us continue to keep Kyle Davies on regular starts, although it's not where he'd like it to be, but I feel sure we'll see him at some point in time again," manager Trey Hillman said.

The next time the Royals will need a fifth starter, barring any rainouts, is Aug. 23 against the Detroit Tigers at Kansas City. Because Davies has to stay with Omaha for 10 days, he wouldn't be scheduled to return by then.

"We might scramble," Hillman said. "We'll deal with that when we get there."

If a pitcher were to go on the disabled list, however, Davies could come back early.

Hillman sees Fulchino as depth for the bullpen, especially with lefty Ron Mahay missing the past few games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, although he was reported to be better.

"He's been fine the last two nights," Hillman said. "He can pitch and he could have pitched the night before. He should be good to go."

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Fulchino joined the Royals the last time the team was in New York on June 7. He stayed for 16 days.

"The thing that I liked when he was up here, although he didn't get extensive work, was that his plane was almost always downhill," Hillman said. "Most often than not, he had tilt to the slider, and I was impressed with his focus and his concentration."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.