Royals release Elarton after disastrous start vs. Yankees

Updated: July 25, 2007, 9:34 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals released struggling right-hander Scott Elarton on Wednesday, one day after bringing him off the disabled list for a disastrous start against the New York Yankees.

Scott Elarton


Starting Pitcher
Kansas City Royals


2007 Season Stats
9 2 4 21 13 10.46

Elarton, the Royals' Opening Day starter in 2006, has never regained his form since shoulder surgery sidelined him for the final 71 games of last season and the first 36 games this year.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Scotty will hook up with somebody, and we'll probably see him in the big leagues at some point this season," manager Buddy Bell said. "I think Scotty felt like he was spinning his wheels here. We gave him an option that he could have gone to Omaha, but I think it's probably best that he hooks on with somebody else and starts over."

The 31-year-old Elarton, in the second year of a two-year, $8 million contract with the Royals, came off the DL on Tuesday after sitting out 26 games with a sprained right foot.

Against the Yankees, he lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and six hits. His ERA rose from 9.17 to 10.46, and his record dropped to 2-4.

"It's about results here," Elarton said after that game. "I've definitely recovered, but I'm not back to where I want to be."

The Royals made no immediate move to fill Elarton's roster spot, but Bell said the team expected to call up a relief pitcher.

Elarton had been expected to start Sunday against Texas. Bell said right-hander Leo Nunez likely would be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to make the start.

Nunez did well in his first career start, on July 17 at Boston. He took a shutout into the fifth inning of the Royals' 9-3 victory but did not get the decision because he was on a pitch count and did not complete the required five innings.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press