Brad Keller returns for the Kansas City Royals, and he’ll be used in a new role

The Kansas City Royals shuffled their roster amid a couple of key injuries. Royals reliever Austin Cox and catcher Freddy Fermin were added to the injury list Saturday afternoon.

Cox was placed on the 60-day injured list with a left knee sprain. He suffered the injury against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Meanwhile, Fermin was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left middle finger fracture.

“We believe it’s an ACL (injury),” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said regarding Cox. “He felt a pop in there on the play he reached for the bag. We won’t have the full diagnosis until he flies back to Kansas City.”

In the seventh inning, Cox tumbled to the ground in pain after attempting to cover first base. He was helped to the clubhouse and underwent further testing. This season, Cox has posted a 4.79 ERA in 24 appearances.

The Royals believe Fermin fractured the finger during a catcher’s interference Friday night. He has a fractured knuckle that will require additional testing.

“He has to go back as well,” Quatraro said. “They got the X-ray to confirm that the fracture was there. But we have to get the full extent of it when he gets back and sees the doctors in Kansas City.

The Royals also made a pair of corresponding moves. KC reinstated veteran pitcher Brad Keller from his rehab assignment and promoted catcher Tyler Cropley from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Keller has been sidelined since May 19 with right shoulder impingement syndrome. Cropley, 27, has never caught above Double-A and will make his MLB debut with the Royals.

Keller has made multiple rehab assignments since the injury. He appeared in six games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas recently.

The Royals plan to utilize Keller out of the bullpen going forward. He had four scoreless outings and pitched two relief innings on Monday night.

“I’m excited for him as it’s been a trying year for him,” Quatraro said. “As of late, the last three weeks or so, he has been throwing the ball well on his rehab assignment. It’s well-deserved and he’s earned his way back.”

Cropley will be used as a backup catcher.

The Royals plan to keep team captain Salvador Perez behind the plate down the stretch. Cropley, who was a non-roster invite to spring training, will be the eighth different Royals player to debut this season.

“He’s a guy we were around in big-league camp,” Quatraro said. “He is a tremendous person and a guy that does a great job behind the plate receiving and blocking. This will shift Salvy back there more (as a starter) and he will be the backup.”