Alex Gordon doesn’t have a concussion, but he didn’t return to the Royals’ lineup Friday either.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
“They said I was clear to go,” Gordon said. “I did all the tests. I followed all the rules, and they cleared me to go.”
“The bruise on my butt’s not feeling too great, so the plan is just day-to-day right now,” Gordon said.
So, it’s mostly good but not great news for Gordon, the Royals’ leadoff hitter and Gold Glove left fielder.
“Where we’re at with Alex is he’s passed all of our Impact tests for us,” manager Ned Yost said. “Now, we’ve got to submit the paperwork to MLB, so that they can clear him.”
Major League Baseball’s independent doctor cleared Gordon late Friday, setting the stage for him to return as soon as Saturday.
Of course, there’s still the bruise, which may need more time to heal. Gordon stretched, took a few swings in the indoor batting cage then joined the club outside for regular batting practice.
Still, Yost planned to be cautious in bringing Gordon, who hadn’t so much as played catch or swung a bat since falling on his hip and smacking his head into the fence while tracking a flyball off the bat of Jason Kipnis during Wednesday’s game.
“He’s a hard worker and he’ll lie to you (about how he’s feeling), so we’re throttling him down,” Yost said.
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur cleared waivers and the Royals requested unconditional release waivers, which officially makes the Frenchy a free agent.
Francoeur, 29, who batted .208 with three home runs in 13 RBIs in 59 games before he was designated for assignment June 29, can sign with any team, likely for a prorated league-minimum salary (roughly $490,000).
If he signs elsewhere, the Royals would owe a little less on the balance of his $6.75 million 2013 salary.
The club also announced Friday that left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno, who was designated for assignment June 25, had accepted an outright assignment at Class AAA Omaha.
Bueno, 32, who is 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 23 appearances for the Storm Chasers, was designated for assignment to make room to make room on the 40-man roster for Danny Duffy when he came off the 60-day disabled list.
A future All-Star?
Royals coaches got a first-hand look at Marten Gasparini, the 16-year-old shortstop from Italy the club signed Tuesday when the international signing season opened.
Gasparini, who is one of Europe’s top prospects and signed for $1.3 million, was at Kauffman Stadium and went through infield drills with first base coach Rusty Kuntz.
“Wow, that’s a million-dollar ballplayer at 16 years old,” Kuntz said when asked for his first impression after working with Gasparini.
Kuntz was particularly impressed with his arm strength, which scouts clocked at 91 miles per hour on throws across the infield.
Love for some minor-leaguers
Two Royals minor-leaguers appeared on Baseball America’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet.
Shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi checked in at No. 3 after posting a .423/.483/.615 slash line last week for Class A Lexington.
Mondesi, 17, who entered Friday with a seven-game hitting streak, had two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and a stolen base and also scored seven runs with three walks and four strikeouts.
Right-hander Kyle Zimmer was listed at No. 9 after going 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA last week for Class A Wilmington.
Zimmer, 21, whom the Royals chose No. 5 overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, struck out 13 in 14 innings, scattering eight hits and two walks.
Paulino plays catch
Right-hander Felipe Paulino played catch Friday as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
Paulino, whose rehab has been shut down twice because of back stiffness and shoulder inflammation, reported no issues after testing the shoulder.
“Everything’s all right,” Paulino said. “My shoulder was a little inflamed, but I played catch today. (Saturday) we’ll see how it feels, but we started my schedule today and we’ll see how that goes this weekend and the week coming up.”
Paulino, 29, was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts last season before leaving in the first inning June 6, 2012, in a start against Minnesota with a sore elbow.
Soccer stars toss first pitch
Sporting Kansas City’s all-star defender Matt Besler, a Blue Valley West graduate, threw out the opening pitch Friday before the game. Sporting KC and U.S. men’s national team teammate Graham Zusi served as catcher.