KANSAS CITY -- The Royals needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for the return of outfielder Justin Maxwell so they opted for a short-term paper move although, on the surface, it sounds long term.
Pitcher Bruce Chen was shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. However, because he's been out for so long and the 60 days is retroactive, Chen can come off that list on Tuesday.
And that's likely to happen because Chen, getting over a back injury, had a fine last rehab outing for Omaha and a good side session on Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
Third baseman Danny Valencia (left hand injury) is also about ready to return from Omaha so there'll be more roster moves soon.
"We're going to get Valencia back here real soon so that will help and Bruce is coming back soon," manager Ned Yost said. "So, we've got some moves still to make in the next couple of days."
The Royals have been operating with eight relievers and 13 pitchers overall, and a thin three-man bench. That's likely to change when Valencia returns.
Aoki on DL with groin injury; Maxwell returns
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell was happy to be back in the Royals' clubhouse, despite the constant chirping of teammate Jarrod Dyson. "I missed that voice," Maxwell said with a smile.
Maxwell was brought back from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday as right fielder Nori Aoki was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of his recurring problems with a groin injury.
Maxwell went right into the starting lineup in right field against Seattle as Lorenzo Cain got a day off. Dyson was in center field where he could chatter at Maxwell all afternoon if he wanted.
In his return, Maxwell went 1-for-3 with a single in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners.
Aoki came out of Tuesday's game at Detroit in the second inning because of the injury, missed Wednesday's game, and played again on Thursday, but not at 100 percent. Although Aoki felt better when the club returned to Kansas City, Yost decided to rest him on Friday night, but Aoki was needed as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of the 7-5 loss.
"When he had to jump out of the way of that pitch is when he re-tweaked it," Yost said. "So they MRI'd him today and it's a grade one-plus strain. They injected it so that will aid the healing process. So, he'll be 15 days to 20 days and we'll see what we get."
Maxwell was hitting .316 in 25 games for the Storm Chasers with five homers, five doubles and 18 RBIs.
"It's great to be back. You never know when it's going to be your last opportunity to play in the big leagues," Maxwell said.
Earlier this season with Kansas City, Maxwell hit just .138 in 16 games and was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Omaha. Getting at-bats on a consistent basis made a difference for him.
"My first game, those first few at-bats felt like the first game of Spring Training because it'd been so long since I'd been in there," Maxwell said. "But getting into a routine and working with [hitting coach] Tommy Gregg every day really paid off."
Maxwell's arrival enabled Yost to give Cain a needed day off. Also given a break on Saturday afternoon was second baseman Omar Infante.
"It's a short turnaround. He and Cain have been at it every day," Yost said. "It's going to be real hot, I just wanted to give them a day."
Holland's dominant run snapped by Mariners
KANSAS CITY -- The two runs scored against Greg Holland by the Mariners to win Friday night's game, 7-5, was a rare occurrence for the Royals' closer.
Holland had not given up more than one run in an outing since April 6, 2013, a span of 95 appearances. That game was in Philadelphia and he surrendered three runs.
The Mariners' runs also snapped a string of 16 consecutive scoreless appearances, dating to May 5 at San Diego when the Padres' Jedd Gyorko hit a solo home run.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.