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Royals place Brad Keller on injured list, take wait-and-see approach to the rotation

The Royals’ pitching plans for the weekend series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field show Zack Greinke starting Friday, Jordan Lyles going Saturday and TBA for Sunday.

That TBA will be in place until at least Saturday afternoon.

The Royals on Friday placed right-hander Brad Keller on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to Tuesday) and recalled righty Max Castillo from Triple-A Omaha. Keller was diagnosed with right shoulder impingement syndrome. Manager Matt Quatraro said Keller called it shoulder fatigue.

“We’re still basically taking it day to day,” Quatraro said. “Monday, he’ll have an MRI when we get back home, see where we’re at and we’ll develop a plan based on how he feels. He’s feeling better but wasn’t going to be able to rebound to be able to make a start. So we need to have that coverage, which obviously you’ve seen Max has been able to provide, and we need that right now.

“So we’re excited to have Max back. Not at the expense of Brad, but you know, we just need to do what’s best for Brad.”

Keller had his shortest outing of the season on Monday in San Diego. Although he only allowed three runs (two earned), Keller pitched 3 2/3 innings, walking eight. He has a 4.36 ERA in nine starts.

Castillo has a 2.89 ERA in three relief appearances. He has struck out eight in 9 1/3 innings and didn’t allow a run in 2 1/3 innings in relief of Keller on Monday.

The Royals won’t announce Sunday’s starter until after the first two games of the series in the Windy City have been played.

“We have to see how we get through today and tomorrow to determine how we’re going to approach Sunday,” Quatraro said before Friday night’s game.

Castillo would seem to be a candidate, along with right-hander Mike Mayers, who allowed a run in 2 2/3 innings of work Wednesday in San Diego.

Keller is the second starter from the Royals’ opening-day rotation on the injured list. Kris Bubic had Tommy John surgery in April. He’s on the 60-day IL.

“Max did a really good job for us last week, you know, Mayers pitched on (Wednesday), probably not as long as anticipated but with the bullpen rested and the day off we had a chance to go for that win, which we did.

“But we feel good about the depth. I mean, that’s why we’ve signed these guys, and every team knows you’re not going to make it through the year with five starters. So you’re going to need these guys at some point and somebody is going to come up and do a really good job.”

Daniel Lynch progressing

Left-hander Daniel Lynch has a 5.65 ERA in four starts as he works his way back from a shoulder strain suffered in spring training.

Lynch allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday. That came after he threw five innings on May 12.

“He said he felt great,” Quatraro said of Lynch. “His pitch count got elevated a little quicker than we would have liked. We’d like to see him get back out there for five or five-plus (innings). So he’s still working through the process. You know, he’s basically had a handful of starts now and he’s been built up so we’re happy with the progress, we just need to see it continue.”

Quatraro said he anticipates Lynch making at least one more rehab start before determining if he’ll join the big-league club.