8/28/2014 8:20 P.M. ET
Royals claim Nix off waivers, activate Downs
Hendriks optioned to Double-A following solid start Wednesday vs. Twins
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Infielder Jayson Nix is being brought on board strictly to improve roster depth, Royals manager Ned Yost said on Thursday.
Nix, 32, was claimed off outright waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates and is expected to join the Royals by Saturday.
The Royals also activated left-handed reliever Scott Downs off the disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Hendriks, in his first start for the Royals, held the Twins to one run in seven innings in the club's 6-1 victory on Wednesday night. Downs has been out since Aug. 2 with a stiff neck.
To clear space on the 40-man roster for Nix, the Royals placed pitcher Michael Mariot (right hamstring strain) on the 60-day disabled list.
"We got another guy for depth in the infield. We really love the job that Christian Colon has done but going into September, we felt we needed another infielder for depth," Yost said. "Jayson Nix is a veteran guy and has played in big markets and fits our mold here of players that we like to bring in."
The Royals must put Nix on the 25-man roster as soon as he reports so it's anticipated that Colon will be temporarily optioned to the Minors until he can be brought back in a couple days.
"Nix is a wonderful guy they say, a gamer-type guy who'll do whatever you want. He's going to fit nice here," Yost said.
There are no plans to put second baseman Omar Infante on the disabled list because of his sore shoulder. He's expected to be back in the lineup on Friday or Saturday.
"We might give him one more day, but he's feeling much better. It'll either be tomorrow or Saturday for sure," Yost said.
Infante's shoulder bothers him primarily when he throws so he was going to try some tosses on Thursday.
Hendriks will report to Northwest Arkansas but will return to Kansas City when the Naturals' season is over and work out of the bullpen.
"The kid comes in, got good stuff, throws strikes and he's not scared," Yost said. "He's just another guy we can use along with [Jason] Frasor and Downs, and Aaron Crow. He's going to be of benefit to us."
Crow is also with Northwest Arkansas, optioned out to make room for Hendriks' start in place of Yordano Ventura.
After being signed as a free agent, Downs appeared in 12 games for Kansas City with one loss and a 3.48 ERA.
Yost wanted him back in time for the weekend series with Cleveland because the Indians have many left-handed hitters. Downs has held lefties to a .182 (4-for-22) mark.
Hosmer getting closer to a rehab assignment
KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer is making such good progress that the Royals might get him on a Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
The first baseman took live batting practice during Thursday's pregame workout with no apparent difficulty.
"If we can get a couple days of BP under his belt, it might be as early as Saturday or Sunday that he can go out on a rehab and start on that process," manager Ned Yost said. "We're keeping our fingers crossed and see how it goes."
The regular season in the Minors ends on Monday although there's still a chance that Triple-A Omaha will make the Pacific Coast League playoffs, extending the Storm Chasers' season.
Hosmer also took hitting earlier in the indoor cage.
"He took two rounds of soft toss, two rounds of BP and felt great," Yost said.
Hosmer has missed all of August with a stress fracture in his right hand, the result of being hit by a pitch on July 20 at Boston.
Yost forecasts KC's postseason pitching plan
KANSAS CITY -- No surprise that Royals manager Ned Yost is already being asked his postseason pitching plans. He took a stab at it on Thursday.
"If it's a one-game playoff, I think it lines up with [Jeremy] Guthrie, if it's a Wild Card, it lines up with [Jason] Vargas and if we win the [American League Central] division, it lines up with [James] Shields."
Those games would be, respectively, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (or maybe Thursday) and those pitchers happen to be an extension of the rotation that finishes the regular season. Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura are penciled into the last two regular-season games.
Yost made the calculations during a radio appearance.
"I just told 'em who was lined up, I didn't tell 'em what the rotation is," Yost said. "Everything can change."
Royals' prospects earn Minor League honors
KANSAS CITY -- Postseason awards keep rolling in for Royals' Minor Leaguers.
Center fielder Lane Adams and right-handed pitcher Andy Ferguson of Double-A Northwest Arkansas were named to the Texas League All-Stars.
Adams is batting .270 with 24 doubles, 11 homers and 37 stolen bases in 103 games. Ferguson is 11-10 with a 2.93 ERA in 25 games.
Right-handed starter Glenn Sparkman of Class A Advanced Wilmington was named the Carolina League's Pitcher of the Year after going 8-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 28 games. He has 113 strikeouts in 116 innings.
Right-hander Mark Peterson was the Relief Pitcher of the Year on the Carolina All-Star team. He has a 1.31 ERA and 22 saves in 33 games for the Blue Rocks.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.