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Notes: Duckworth acquired
06/11/2006 3:30 PM ET
KANSAS CITY -- In an effort to upgrade their starting rotation, the Royals have acquired right-hander Brandon Duckworth from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. Duckworth will start on Tuesday against the Angels.

To make room on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, Kansas City designated right-hander Kyle Snyder for assignment. Snyder could be traded or claimed by another club during a 10-day period, but the expectation is that he'll go back to Triple-A Omaha if he gets through that process with no takers.

"Our people have been tracking Duckworth," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We just felt he would be a step in the right direction for us."

Duckworth, 30, was 8-3 with a 2.42 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis this year. Royals scout Earl Winn had been following Duckworth's progress.

"Pitching is the currency of the game," Moore said. "We're going to explore every avenue, every place we can go to continue to acquire pitching talent, plug it in and hopefully get the right blend."

Duckworth has a 16-21 record and 5.34 ERA in the Major Leagues. He made a combined 66 starts for the Phillies and Astros.

"With pitchers, as long as they can stay healthy, you just keep sending them out there and hopefully, they figure it out and get some consistency," Moore said. "We're looking for what he can possibly bring in, adding some stability."

High on Hochevar: If the Atlanta Braves would have had the No. 1 pick in the recent First-Year Player Draft, Moore can vouch for the fact that the Braves would have done what the Royals did by taking right-hander Luke Hochevar.

"He was No. 1 on our board in Atlanta," said Moore, who worked with the Braves through the draft before taking over the Kansas City GM job.

Moore added that he felt Hochevar would have been a top-10 pick last year if not for signability issues.

Moore termed the Hochevar negotiations in the introductory phase as Hochevar waits to see what happens with those players drafted just below him. Deric Ladnier, the Royals senior director of scouting, is the point man in those negotiations.

Once Hochevar is signed, Moore said the plan is for the right-hander to start at the Class A level and progress at his own pace.

Elite company: With Royals outfielder Reggie Sanders becoming just the fifth player in the Major Leagues to hit 300 homers and steal 300 bases, the question has been raised about whether Sanders has been underrated. His name recognition isn't on the same level as Barry and Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson and Willie Mays -- the other players in the 300-300 club.

"The people that play with him, coach for him and have managed him certainly don't look at Reggie as underrated," manager Buddy Bell said. "Sometimes, he isn't considered in that elite group. I think he should be."

Sanders hit his 300th homer on Saturday in a 9-5 loss to Tampa Bay.

"It's a huge feat," pitcher Mike Wood said. "We're all proud of him. I wish we could have enjoyed it even more by winning the game."

This day in Royals history: On June 11, 1974, Joe Burke was appointed executive vice present and general manager of the Royals. Under Burke's guidance, the Royals won four American League West titles and made their first World Series appearance in 1980.

Coming up: The Royals will begin a seven-game road trip on Monday as rookie right-hander Bobby Keppel (0-1, 2.11 ERA) takes on Angels right-hander Ervin Santana (5-3, 4.32 ERA) at 9:05 p.m. CT.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.