CLEVELAND -- Jonathan Broxton, thrust into the closer's role when Joakim Soria underwent elbow surgery, was coming back from more minor elbow surgery of his own and the Royals were taking it slow with him.
But now manager Ned Yost believes that Broxton is ready to pitch in three consecutive games, if necessary. He was being restricted to back-to-back games.
"Our plan was to take him into June and let him go. We're not quite into June, but we're close enough that we were going to let him go [Monday] night," Yost said.
But Broxton wasn't needed in an 8-5 loss to the Indians. He had recorded saves in the previous two games at Baltimore, the sixth time this season that he'd pitched in successive games.
Yost: Royals have many All-Star candidates
CLEVELAND -- The 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City is a little more than a month away, on July 10, so the questions are coming to manager Ned Yost about the Royals' possible picks. Shortstop Alcides Escobar, hitting .310 and fielding superbly as usual, was mentioned by a reporter.
"Oh, I would definitely say, yeah. He's definitely worthy of some serious consideration, but the All-Star Game's so tough these days, there are so many good shortstops," Yost said.
The Royals haven't had more than one player selected to the American League team since 2003, when first baseman Mike Sweeney and relief pitcher Mike MacDougal were picked.
Yost can't see any one Royals player as an obvious selection this year.
"Billy [Butler], surely, is worthy of consideration. Escobar. I was thinking Moose [Mike Moustakas], but he's tailed off a little bit, but if he gets it going again. Frenchy [Jeff Francoeur] continues to get hot, and he's a guy they can put into right field late in a game. There's Alex [Gordon]," Yost mused. "There's no clear-cut option for us right now. There are a bunch of different options, and they all seem to make a little sense to me. But I don't know what they're looking for and I haven't talked to them."
Fans, players and management all get a voice in the 33-man roster, including AL manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers, the guy who tapped Royals reliever Aaron Crow last year.
"My guess is it's probably going to be a pitcher," Yost said. "I don't know, we'll just have to wait and see."
Then he added a thoughtful element to the scenario, noting how Washington might be swayed by personal experience.
"Like all managers, he wants to win the game so he's going to pick the player that he thinks is going to help him, and probably more often than not, it's going to be a pitcher," Yost said.
"Last year, Aaron Crow put together a nice year, but he came in against Texas and he blew 'em away and that was in their mind. You revert back to that -- and I don't say this is going to happen because I haven't talked to anybody -- but [Tim] Collins is having a nice year and he comes in against Texas and strikes five out of six guys out. And you look at his numbers and he's doing OK."
But so are closer Jonathan Broxton and starter Felipe Paulino, just to name a couple more.
"It's going to be interesting to see how it all comes about," Yost said.
Strep throat delays Duffy's elbow surgery
CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Danny Duffy's elbow surgery scheduled for Thursday has been postponed because the pitcher has developed a case of strep throat.
Dr. Lewis Yocum, who was to perform the Tommy John procedure in Los Angeles, wants the ailment to clear up before Duffy undergoes the surgery.
Earlier this year, Royals pitchers Joakim Soria and Blake Wood had Tommy John surgery performed by Yocum.
The Royals also announced that infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, rehabbing from a sprained right ankle, has been transferred from the Double-A Northwest Arkansas roster to Triple-A Omaha.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.