Royals place Jason Vargas on disabled list with elbow injury

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Royals left-hander Jason Vargas is headed to the disabled list with a strained flexor tendon.

Vargas was off to a rough start this season, posting a 5.26 ERA through five outings, but he tossed six innings of two-run ball against the Indians on Wednesday. And now the Royals will hold their breath waiting to see if the injury leads to Tommy John elbow surgery in the second season of a four-year, $32 million deal.

Journeyman right-hander Yohan Pino takes Vargas’ spot on the roster, Chris Young figures to take his spot in the rotation, and Kansas City will likely be relying on its fantastic bullpen even more than before.