Royals remove Kelvin Herrera as closer, go with committee

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost on Friday said he's removed Kelvin Herrera, who blew a save Thursday, from the closer's role.

Herrera gave up two runs on two hits in the eighth inning of Friday's 8-5 loss to the Twins as the Royals fell 3.5 games behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot in a crowded AL wild-card race.

"He's not sharp," Yost said. "He's pitching about once over five days. We need to get him more in a pitching rhythm. It's not enough to keep him sharp. We can pitch him in the seventh and eighth innings and get him in more games instead of holding him back for save situations, and try to get him sharp again, and then reinsert him."

Herrera is 3-3 with 26 saves this season, though he has been taken out of the game five times in his last 17 appearances as his ERA has ballooned to 4.56.

Until then, Yost said he would use a closer-by-committee approach with left-handers Scott Alexander and Mike Minor and right-hander Brandon Maurer.