It’s moments like these that send a shiver through a fan base.
The Royals scratched left fielder Alex Gordon from Monday’s lineup against Arizona after he reported tightness in his lower back.
And the social media, so informedstop 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”
“It’s 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 that’s how I felt, too. We’re just trying to be smart. Take a day off and come back (Tuesday). I think they’re saying ‘day to day,’ but we’ll 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 it’s 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 Gordon’s spot as the lineup’s 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.
That’s one worry, apparently, they can ignore.
Yost said he didn’t even bother to check later in the day with the training staff for an update on Gordon’s status.
“It’s just some back stiffness,” Yost said. “It might be a day or two. Nothing serious. It’s nothing I would even go and get an update on. That’s how unconcerned I am about it.”
Yost did not rule out Gordon from playing Tuesday against Cleveland in Goodyear, Ariz., although that seems unlikely.
“We’ll see how he feels,” Yost said. “This is something where we’ll make sure he feels good before we get him back in thereHe’s fine. We’ve got two extra weeks (of spring training because of the World Baseball Classic). No issue.”