Joe Blanton is back in the majors

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The Royals announced this afternoon that they have called up right-hander Joe Blanton from Triple-A Omaha. He’s now back in the majors for the first time since 2013.

Blanton didn’t pitch last season outside of two appearances with the Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate. The 34-year-old signed on with the Royals over the winter and remained with the organization after failing to make the Opening Day roster. He posted a 3.89 ERA and 30/10 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings over six starts and one relief appearance in Triple-A. His minor league contract had an opt-out clause on Friday, so the Royals decided to bring him up rather than let him walk.

Blanton owns a 5.09 ERA dating back to 2010, so it’s hard to expect much, but he’ll likely only be counted on to pitch in middle relief.