7/31/2014 11:18 P.M. ET
Vargas to rejoin rotation Saturday vs. Oakland
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Jason Vargas will return to the mound Saturday for the Royals after missing more than three weeks with an appendectomy.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost announced Thursday that Vargas will start Game Two of a three-game set in Oakland that begins Friday. He draws a difficult assignment in facing the Athletics' newly acquired fellow left-hander Jon Lester, who owns a 1.43 ERA in 11 career starts -- one of them a 2008 no-hitter -- against the Royals.
Vargas completed a successful simulated start Tuesday.
"He wasn't tired at all after 60 pitches the other day," Yost said.
Vargas (8-4, 3.31 ERA) last pitched July 8. Two days later, he had his appendix removed and was placed on the disabled list.
Yost surprised by blockbuster trades around MLB
KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost woke up Thursday morning and reacted to the Boston-Oakland trade similarly to how anyone else plugged into the baseball world would.
"When it started this morning, I couldn't believe it. I had to look at it twice when I saw [Jon] Lester for [Yoenis] Cespedes," Yost said.
Yost is referring to the trade that sent Cespedes, a promising outfielder with the Athletics, to the Red Sox for Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes.
By the end of the day, the Boston-Oakland blockbuster was overshadowed by an American League Central division rival's big splash.
The Tigers acquired Rays starter David Price in a three-way trade just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed.
"It was a nice acquisition. It's a nice pitcher to have, but that doesn't change what we're trying to do," Yost said. "Is it going to make it tougher when we face [Detroit]? Yeah, I mean, that's a pretty good rotation over there, but we like our rotation too."
Southpaw Lamb keeps rolling at Triple-A
KANSAS CITY -- John Lamb's reclamation project continued Wednesday night, as the Royals farmhand impressed again at Triple-A Omaha.
Lamb, Kansas City's fifth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, threw seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 3.56 this season. He's now allowed just three earned runs in his last 24 innings.
The left-hander climbed the amateur ranks with a superb 2010 season (2.38 ERA, 9.7 K/9) that earned him widespread recognition in the baseball scouting community. He ranked as Baseball Prospectus' 11th-best prospect in their pre-2011 rankings. But Tommy John surgery in 2011, then disastrous 2012 and 2013 campaigns, derailed his once-promising status as a prospect.
In addition to his solid ERA, Lamb has struck out 113 batters in 111 1/3 innings this season.
• Alex Gordon needs just four hits to reach 1,000 in his career entering Thursday's game with the Twins.
• Reliever Jason Frasor earned his first win with the Royals on Wednesday night, becoming the 276th player in team history to notch a victory.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.