Royals outfielder Nori Aoki felt a cramp in his left groin muscle as he streaked from first to third in the second inning of Tuesday’s 11-4 victory over the Tigers. When he sprinted toward home plate soon after, the discomfort increased.
Manager Ned Yost removed Aoki from the game after he scored, and inserted Lorenzo Cain into the game. Yost indicated the team’s training staff told him Aoki would not require a stint on the disabled list.
Aoki was even more optimistic.
“I think I should be fine by tomorrow,” he said. “It shouldn’t really be too long. It was just a cramp.”
He added, “I’ve had cramps in the past, so I can tell the difference (between this and something more serious).”
Royals recalled right-handed reliever Louis Coleman on Tuesday afternoon and optioned rookie lefty Donnie Joseph to Class AAA Omaha. Joseph gave up six runs Monday.
This will be Coleman’s second crack in the majors this season. In his first outing, he gave up a solo home run on Tuesday night.
The Royals had demoted him in June. Yost stressed Coleman needed to refine his command, as the club considered him a useful piece for this summer. In five appearances for Omaha, Coleman struck out 10 and walked just one batter.
“He needed to get his slider a little tighter,” Yost said. “It was too big and loopy and flat.”
Upon his return, Coleman indicated he felt more confident in his command. He injured his finger during spring training, and spent much of the time there rehabilitating.
“It just wasn’t what you would normally be accustomed to doing,” Coleman said.
Perez returns to action
Catcher Salvador Perez returned to the lineup after missing the final three innings on Monday due to cramping in his calves.
Crow stays in office
Reliever Aaron Crow will serve as the team’s union representative for the third consecutive season. The team conducted their vote on Monday.
Visit from friend
Chris Getz, the recently retired second baseman, stopped by the Royals clubhouse to visit his former teammates. Getz stepped away from the game after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays in May. He lives nearby.
Rehab for Valencia, Chen
Both third baseman Danny Valencia (sprained left hand) and pitcher Bruce Chen (bulging disk in lower back) left the team to begin rehabilitation assignments with Class AAA Omaha. Chen is scheduled to start today.