SURPRISE, Ariz. — Its moments like these that send a shiver through a fan base.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
The Royals scratched left fielder Alex Gordon from Mondays lineup against Arizona after he reported tightness in his lower back.
And the social media, so informed stop right there.
Gordon insisted he is fine.
The Royals characterized the move as precautionary.
I think it happened Sunday, Gordon said, when it was so cold and we were sitting around. It just tightened up a little bit. Some back spasms. When I felt it today (in the batting cage), we just decided to shut it down as a precaution.
I mean, I like to play every day, but
Its just way too early to be pushing anything, manager Ned Yost cautioned. So we made a lineup change.
Yost replied, One percent concerned.
That amused Gordon.
Yeah, I heard Ned say one percent, he said, but thats how I felt, too. Were just trying to be smart. Take a day off and come back (Tuesday). I think theyre saying day to day, but well see.
The Royals are already operating without starting center fielder Lorenzo Cain, although he is expected to play later this week. Cain suffered an injury to his right hand earlier in camp.
Let them know Lo Cain is ready, he said, feeling good and its all on schedule.
Xavier Nady replaced Gordon in left field for the 16-4 rout of the Diamondbacks at Surprise Stadium. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson filled Gordons spot as the lineups leadoff hitter and ignited a four-run fourth inning with a perfect bunt single.
The Royals would be hard-pressed to replace Gordon, who might be their best all-round player. He batted .294 last season while leading the American League with 51 doubles and winning a second straight Gold Glove for defensive excellence.
Thats one worry, apparently, they can ignore.
Yost said he didnt even bother to check later in the day with the training staff for an update on Gordons status.
Its just some back stiffness, Yost said. It might be a day or two. Nothing serious. Its nothing I would even go and get an update on. Thats how unconcerned I am about it.
Yost did not rule out Gordon from playing Tuesday against Cleveland in Goodyear, Ariz., although that seems unlikely.
Well see how he feels, Yost said. This is something where well make sure he feels good before we get him back in there Hes fine. Weve got two extra weeks (of spring training because of the World Baseball Classic). No issue.
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