MacDougal (10.80 ERA) optioned to minors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mike MacDougal went from All-Star
reliever as a rookie to a minor leaguer on Tuesday.

The struggling last-place Royals optioned MacDougal to Triple-A
Omaha on Tuesday following a weekend in which he blew save chances
at Toronto and Boston.

MacDougal was 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA and one save in five chances
following a stint on the disabled list caused by a stomach virus.

He was 3-3 with 24 saves and a 2.59 ERA when he was selected to
the All-Star Game last July. After the break, he was 0-2 with three
saves and a 6.85 ERA.

"He needs to go down and repeat his delivery," Royals general
manager Allard Baird said. "He needs to work ahead in the count.
In his situation, to give confidence to the manager to bring him in
the ninth inning right now is not there. He needs to work on

"To bring him back in the sixth and seventh inning at the major
league level to work on things does not make any sense. It's not
fair to him and it's not fair to the ballclub right now."

Manager Tony Pena said he will try several pitchers as closer.

"Mac needs to go down and pitch,'' Pena said. "Right now he's
a little bit lost. His arm slot is different on about every pitch.
We will not forget Mac. To win the Central Division, we'll need
Mike MacDougal. But we'll need him throwing the ball the way he's
capable of throwing and he's not doing it right now."

The Royals also optioned outfielder David DeJesus to Omaha
following an 0-for-16 slide that left him 1-for-23 in 11 games.
Right-handed reliever Justin Huisman and outfielder Aaron Brown
were brought up.

"We want DeJesus to go down and play everyday," Pena said. "I
don't want this kid here unless he is playing everyday."

DeJesus is considered the Royals' top prospect among their
position players in the high minors. He was hitting .351 at Omaha
with a 14-game hitting streak when he was called up April 24.

"We brought him to the big leagues to play, but he struggled,"
Baird said. "He was a little overwhelmed and pressed. If he
wouldn't have pressed, he'd still be here. When he comes back, he
won't be squeezing the bat until it turns to sawdust."

Huisman was 0-2 with three saves and a 3.60 ERA in nine games
with Omaha. In two games earlier this season with Kansas City, he
did not allow a run in three innings over two outings.

Brown, who has played in the majors with Pittsburgh and Boston,
hit .217 in 26 games with Omaha.

The Royals also moved Kyle Snyder, who had shoulder surgery in
February, from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.