Danny Valencia and the Royals received a dose of good news late on Saturday night, when X-rays on his sore left hand were negative. Valencia feared he fractured the hamate bone, but instead suffered a sprain.
“It’s pretty sore today,” Valencia said Sunday. “Just hopefully it dies down quickly.”
Valencia expects to miss “a few days,” he said. In his absence, Jimmy Paredes will start at third base. He hit .326 with an .843 on-base plus slugging percentage with Class AAA Omaha. He is a switch hitter.
Paredes went one for three Sunday and started the team’s third-inning scoring surge in a 4-3 loss. Both he and Valencia are filling in for regular third baseman Mike Moustakas, who was demoted to the minors on Thursday after a pitiful start to the year.
Valencia injured himself during his last at-bat in the 13th inning on Saturday night. He stayed in the game and doubled to spark the winning rally. He endured plenty of ribbing for his plight the next morning, as an electronic stimulation machine provided treatment for his hand.
“I very highly don’t think it’s a D.L. thing,” manager Ned Yost said.
Infante on the way back
Yost said he hopes second baseman Omar Infante (lower back inflammation) can rejoin the team during this upcoming series at home against Houston. Infante played the field on Saturday and Sunday.
Aoki sits out
Nori Aoki rested his sore left elbow on Sunday afternoon. He was still feeling the effects of a C.J. Wilson fastball from Friday night. Lorenzo Cain moved to right, and Jarrod Dyson started in center.
“I look for him to be back in the lineup (tonight),” Yost said.
Mariot checks back in
After absorbing seven relief innings on Saturday, the bullpen needed a fresh arm. The reinforcement was right hander Michael Mariot. To make room on the roster, the team optioned catcher Francisco Peña back to Omaha.
Chen makes progress
Bruce Chen (bulging disk in lower back) plans to throw a light session of live batting practice before Monday night’s game against the Astros at Kauffman Stadium. He is getting closer to beginning a minor-league rehabilitation assignment.
When Chen returns to the big-league roster, he probably will move into the bullpen. Danny Duffy has filled in well in his absence in the rotation.