8/16/2013 7:30 P.M. ET
Royals shut down top prospect Zimmer
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the Royals' first-round choice in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and ranked first among Kansas City prospects by MLB.com, has been shut down for the season after leaving his start for Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday night because of shoulder stiffness.
"Kyle has some minor shoulder irritation and has reached his innings threshold for the season, so he will no longer pitch in 2013," said Royals director of player development Scott Sharp. "He is returning to school for the fall semester to rest and knock out some classes, and will return ready to go in 2014."
Zimmer pitched 108 1/3 innings this summer for Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Class A Wilmington. He had a combined record of 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA in 22 starts. He piled up 140 strikeouts against just 36 walks.
For Northwest Arkansas, he made four starts with a 2-1 record and a 1.93 ERA.
Zimmer, 21, underwent what the club termed minor elbow surgery last August, ending his first pro season. In 2012, he pitched in nine games for two low-level clubs, with a 3-3 record and a 2.04 ERA over 39 2/3 innings.
Royals place Maxwell on bereavement leave
DETROIT -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell was scheduled to go on bereavement leave from the Royals after Friday's first game of the day-night doubleheader against the Tigers.
Maxwell's grandmother passed away, and the funeral will be on Saturday in New Jersey.
Before leaving, Maxwell went 2-for-4 and scored the winning run in the Royals' 2-1 victory over the Tigers. Since joining the Royals in a trade with the Astros, he's hit .406 (13-for-32) with two doubles, a triple and three home runs.
To replace Maxwell, left-handed pitcher Will Smith was recalled from Omaha for the sixth time this season and was eligible for the Friday night half of the doubleheader.
In his previous callups, Smith pitched in seven games for Kansas City, with a 1-1 record, a 3.26 ERA and 20 strikeouts against one walk in 19 1/3 innings. For Omaha, he has a 6-3 record, four saves, a 3.00 ERA and 99 strikeouts and 24 walks in 87 innings.
In effect, Smith also will replace lefty Danny Duffy on the pitching staff after his start in Friday's first game. Duffy is allowed on the roster as the 26th player for a doubleheader.
Maxwell is the third Royals player to leave the team this year because of family deaths. Catcher Salvador Perez and pitcher Wade Davis were the others.
The departure of Maxwell reduces the Royals to three outfielders but newly-arrived infielder Emilio Bonifacio is also a seasoned outfielder. In fact, he started Friday night's nightcap in center field.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is on the 15-day disabled list and third baseman Mike Moustakas has been sidelined by an injury. Manager Ned Yost is well aware that their absence has hurt.
"It makes a difference, it does," Yost said. "Moose has been swinging the bat really well. Our defense with Cain in there is better; he's arguably one of the best center fielders in the American League. And count his offense, too. It hurts, but you've got to find ways to cover it. That's what good teams do."
Moose 'ready to play' as pinch-hitter if needed
DETROIT -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas, out with a calf injury, has recovered to the point he could be used as a pinch-hitter if needed.
"It feels good," Moustakas said before Friday's doubleheader. "I'm going to go out today and take some ground balls in case [manager Ned Yost] needs me. I always try to be ready to play."
Moustakas came out of Monday's game with tightness in his left calf. By Thursday, he was throwing and hitting in the batting cage but not running.
"But playing the game is a lot different than just taking ground balls and taking swings in the cage. They're doing a great job with me, they're taking it at a right pace," Moustakas said. "I feel good, I feel happy where I'm at right now."
Paulino looks to ramp up next rehab start
DETROIT -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino plans to make his next rehab start for Triple-A Omaha on Sunday at Memphis.
Paulino pitched 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday for Omaha, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks to Fresno.
"There's no more soreness after the games," Paulino said after returning to Kansas City. "And the good thing about this is my arm is making a good recovery. I've been having a good recovery the last couple of weeks, and I have no doubt I'm going to have a good recovery this time."
Paulino's return from Tommy John surgery on July 3, 2012, has been delayed by back and shoulder problems, but his repaired right elbow has been sound. He threw 75 pitches on Tuesday and plans to boost that to 95 pitches on Sunday.
"I had a rough night, but my stuff was good," he said of his last start. "My next start has to be better, because I'm going to jump to 95 pitches. And now I can work at my own pace and not have to worry about a pitch count."
KC's annual Salute will have throwback flair
DETROIT -- The Royals' annual Salute to the Negro Leagues is planned for Aug. 24, when they'll play the Washington Nationals at 6:10 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium.
There will be a throwback element to the Interleague game as the teams will wear uniforms inspired by the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs and Washington Homestead Grays, who clashed in that year's Negro League World Series won by the Monarchs. The first 10,000 fans at the game will receive a vintage Monarchs T-shirt.
Some game-worn and autographed jerseys will auctioned online at royals.com/negroleagues and mlb.com/auction, with proceeds benefiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Also, game-worn Monarchs hats will be available for auction at the Royals Authentics store at the stadium during the Nationals series.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.