Bubba Starling stresses that the elective LASIK readjustment procedure he underwent last week in Kansas City was a minor one. It lasted just a few minutes. He was back playing baseball within days.
But Starling, the former Royals’ first-round pick and Gardner native, was happy to have it done. A vision exam during the first week of spring training revealed an issue in his right eye. Starling and the Royals scheduled a procedure to address it.
“We did our evaluations when we first showed up to spring training,” Starling said. “And I just had a little something in my right eye.”
Starling, who is entering his sixth full season in the Royals organization, previously underwent LASIK — a type of refractive surgery meant to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism — during the first half of the 2013 season. He said the adjustment procedure was less extensive and less painful.
“I looked into a laser,” Starling said. “ … It was quick; not painful like the first one.”
Starling returned to Royals camp last weekend. He is batting .313 (5 for 16) with a .421 on-base percentage while appearing in 10 games this spring. He batted .183 with a .235 on-base percentage and seven homers in 109 games last year while splitting time at Class AA Northwest Arkansas and Class AAA Omaha. He will likely begin this season at either Northwest Arkansas or Omaha.
“I flew back and the next day it was a little sensitive,” Starling said of the eye procedure. “But I could actually see really good out of my right eye.
“I’m glad I got it done,” he added. “Like I said, it was something minor.”