All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon won’t get regular duty for the Detroit series, but the news about his injured right wrist was encouraging Thursday — one day after he was scratched from the lineup in the finale at Tampa Bay.
“We did an X-ray and MRI,” Gordon said. “There’s no tear and no broken bone.”
Instead, it’s a simple sprain, which manager Ned Yost said shouldn’t land Gordon on the disabled list.
Gordon received a cortisone injection and “hopefully, by the end of the All-Star break, he’ll be ready to go,” Yost said.
“The trainers and doctors had a long talk, and we thought it would be best for me to get the injection now and get the eight days of rest, so I can come back from the break and be healthy,” Gordon said. “In Tampa, I was struggling just to take batting practice and take swings in the cage. It was really frustrating to try to get ready for a game.”
Yost, who inserted Gordon as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning Wednesday against the Rays, didn’t rule out the possibility of using him in that role against the Tigers.
However, he cautioned that “if there’s any possibility he could come back to hit, then I won’t do it,” Yost said.
Gordon sprained the wrist Saturday in Cleveland, sliding into second base. He aggravated the injury on a slide during Monday’s game at Tampa Bay.
The Royals open the second half of the season with a six-game road trip to Boston and Chicago.
Veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez, who signed with the Royals on June 30, will start in Gordon’s place.
With Nori Aoki still on a rehab assignment, that leaves the Royals without a reserve outfielder for the time being.
Vargas lands on DL
Left-hander Jason Vargas remained in a Tampa after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, but Yost said he would return to Kansas City on Friday.
“Everything went great,” Yost said.
Still, there is no timetable for Vargas’ return. He could miss one start or could be sidelined three to four weeks.
Vargas’ appendix wasn’t ruptured, so the surgery was noninvasive, which should minimize recovery time.
Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel played 11 days after a similar procedure in 2010, and Sporting KC defender Matt Besler only missed three games in June 2012 when he underwent an appendectomy.
Yost said veteran Bruce Chen is the most likely candidate to replace Vargas, who was 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA, in the rotation.
“We’ll still keep Bruce in the pen in case something happens,” Yost said. “Then, we’d have to piece something together, but, if we can get through it, Bruce will start Sunday.”
Right-hander Louis Coleman was recalled from Class AAA Omaha to replace Vargas.
Coleman was spectacular last season, allowing only two runs in 29 2/3 innings, but he struggled in 18 appearances this season with a 6.41 ERA in 19 2/3 innings.
“I worked on being more consistent and developing all the pitches so I could get back to where I was last year,” Coleman said.
Additional injury news
Third baseman Mike Moustakas wasn’t in the lineup against Tigers lefty Drew Smyly, but he said he wasn’t feeling any ill effects from a stomach bug that relegated him to the bench Wednesday.
“He feels better,” Yost said. “He’s ready to go.”
The same was true for outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who was “a little sore” on Thursday after smacking his head on Ben Zobrist’s knee while swiping second in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win against the Rays.
Dyson was in the lineup and declared himself fit before the opener against Detroit.
Maxwell accepts assignment
Outfielder Justin Maxwell, who was designated for assignment on June 30, reported Thursday to Class AAA Omaha.
Maxwell could have become a free agent, but he opted to stay with the Royals and accept a minor-league assignment.
Alcides Escobar moved into a tie for 10th place in Royals history with a second-inning steal.
Escobar swiped second, giving him 105 stolen bases since joining the club before 2011 season. That moves him into a three-way tie on the Royals’ all-time list with Hal McRae and John Wathan.
Stewart’s book offers insider look
Long-time Royals scout Art Stewart, who currently serves as senior adviser to general manager Dayton Moore and was inducted into the Royals’ Hall of Fame in 2008, has written a book about his career with Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger.
Stewart — who has worked in baseball for 62 years, including the last 45 with the Royals — talked about “The Art of Scouting: Seven Decades Chasing Hopes and Dreams in Major League Baseball” on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium before a pivotal four-game series against Detroit.
“I dedicated it to the scouts, past and present, to tell their story,” Stewart, 87, said. “I wanted to really convey what a scout’s life was like, the ups and downs, and tell their story — not just my own story, but their story.”
The book offers an inside look at baseball from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
“I can’t think of a better individual to tell the story of a scout — and all the experiences and the passion that they have for the game,” Moore said. “He’s been a mentor to so many people in the game and is cherished and loved by anybody who has interacted with him and worked with him.”