Scott Downs stepped on the Kauffman Stadium mound, Eric Hosmer dug in at the plate and progress was made on both injury fronts Monday.
A cat scan revealed Hosmer’s fractured bone in his right wrist had healed to the point where “he can swing but not hit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Indeed, Hosmer stood in as Downs, on the disabled list since Aug. 25 because of a neck sprain, threw about 25 pitches Monday afternoon. He had to resist the temptation to swing away.
“It was game situation, except I couldn’t swing,” Hosmer said. “I was tempted to swing. I knew what was coming, too.”
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The plan will be for Hosmer to swing without contact until Thursday, when he can hit off a tee and then take some soft toss.
A rehabilitation assignment in Class AAA Omaha is a possibility, if the Storm Chasers reach the playoffs. Entering Monday, Omaha held a one-game lead in its division with eight games remaining.
“If there are minor-league games going we’ll send him on a rehab,” Yost said. “We’d like to get him 15, 20 at-bats, that would be real good. It would be better than giving him nothing, trying to work him in up here.”
Downs, a lefty who was signed as a free-agent last month, could be activated during this homestand, perhaps in time to see a heavy left-handed hitting Indians lineup. Cleveland opens a set at Kauffman on Friday.
Derek Jeter’s final appearance at Kauffman Stadium was supposed to be on June 9, the final of a four-game set in the Yankees’ lone trip to Kansas City.
But the game was rained out, and instead of a nine-game homestand, the Royals will play 10. And instead of a day off to travel from home to Detroit, the Yankees came to Kauffman Stadium on Monday for a second chance to say farewell to Jeter, the retiring superstar.
“He plays the game the right way, he does everything the right way, he’s a role model,” Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson said.
Jeter’s been ascending longevity lists all season, and recently he passed George Brett for ninth place in most games played for only one team. Jeter was scheduled to play in his 2,716th game with the Yankees on Monday. Brett played in 2,707 with the Royals for 21 seasons beginning in 1973.
Most games played, all with one team
Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox
Stan Musial, Cardinals
Cal Ripken, Orioles
Brooks Robinson, Orioles
Robin Yount, Brewers
Craig Biggio, Astros
Al Kaline, Tigers
Met Ott, Giants
Derek Jeter, Yankees
George Brett, Royals