MLB notes: Royals call on George Brett

Hall of Famer and former Kansas City Royals star George Brett throws out the ceremonial first pitch...

Hall of Famer and former Kansas City Royals star George Brett throws out the ceremonial first pitch at the Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Kansas City, Missouri July 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:25 PM ET

The Kansas City Royals have called on a legend to help get them out of a slump.

On Thursday, the club announced Hall of Famer George Brett will move down from the front office to the diamond as the interim hitting coach.

After a promising 17-10 start to the season, the Royals have dropped to last place in the American League Central Division with a 21-29 record heading into Thursday night’s game.

“Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected, and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results, we’ve decided to make a change,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said.

“I’m thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters ... our game has ever seen in George Brett.”

Brett had 3,154 hits in a 21-year MLB career and won a World Series title with the Royals in 1985. The 60-year-old retired in 1993 and serves as the team’s vice-president of baseball operations.

The Royals are 13th in the AL in runs scored and last in home runs with 28.

MYERS BACK TO ‘PEN?

After signing on as a starter for the Cleveland Indians this season, Brett Myers might find himself back in the bullpen when he returns from an elbow injury.

Myers is on the disabled list but recently halted his rehab assignment after a setback.

The Indians still view Myers as a starter, but may put him in the ‘pen to make sure he steadily returns to health.

“I guess if it ever got to the point where we thought he could handle being a reliever, maybe that’s something we would look at, just out of common sense,” manager Terry Francona told MLB.com.

Myers has shifted between being a starter and a reliever throughout his career. In four starts this season, he’s 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in 21 1/3 innings pitched.

BUCHHOLZ SET TO RETURN

It won’t be long before Clay Buchholz is back on the mound.

After the Boston Red Sox right-hander was scratched from his last two scheduled starts, including Friday, he’s set to return Sunday, according to CSNNE.com.

Buchholz has missed time due to soreness in the AC joint, which is right below the collarbone, in his throwing shoulder.

After throwing a light bullpen session Thursday, he was given the OK to play this weekend against Hiroki Kuroda and the New York Yankees.

Buchholz is 7-0 with an AL-leading 1.73 ERA through 10 starts this season.

BRIEFLY

New York Mets left-hander Jon Niese will miss Saturday’s start with shoulder tendinitis, according to ESPN ... New York Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte will make his return from the DL Monday against the Indians, according to MLB.com ... Alexi Ogando could return to the mound for the Texas Rangers June 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays after missing the last two weeks with biceps tendinitis, according to ESPN ... The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost their best hitter. Third baseman Eric Chavez left Thursday’s game with a strained right oblique after swinging and missing on a pitch, according to MLB.com. Chavez was hitting .325 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs this season ... After returning from a concussion, Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe strained his calf prior to Thursday’s game and will go on the DL, according to Fox Sports.


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