Kansas City Royals pitcher Jason Vargas will be sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with a left flexor strain on Friday.
Vargas was placed on the 15-day disabled list, one of several moves the team made prior to the start of its weekend series at rival Detroit. Third baseman Mike Moustakas will miss the entire three-game set after being put on the bereavement list on Friday due to a family emergency.
Kansas City will have Alcides Escobar back to face the Tigers. The slick- fielding shortstop has missed the Royals’ last seven games with concussion symptoms, but was activated from the 7-day DL in time for Friday’s opener.
Vargas, who went 11-10 with a solid 3.71 ERA in 30 starts last season to help the Royals reach the playoffs for the first time since 1985, had won his last two outings after struggling in his previous two starts. The left-hander sports a 3-1 record with a 5.26 ERA over five appearances this season, having walked 10 in 25 2/3 innings and allowed four homers.
Veteran Chris Young is expected to take Vargas’ place in the rotation, with the Royals recalling right-hander Yohan Pino from Triple-A Omaha to fill the roster spot.
Moustakas has been one of the Royals’ most consistent hitters during the early portion of this season, having produced a .327 average with three home runs, six doubles and 10 RBI in 28 games.
Escobar has not played since being struck in the face by a fastball from Cleveland’s Danny Salazar on April 29. The 28-year-old was batting .291 with eight RBI and 10 runs scored in 19 prior to the injury.