Eric Hosmer missed his second game in a row Tuesday because of a bruised right hand, and Royals manager Ned Yost doubted Hosmer would play at all in this series against the White Sox.
Hosmer hoped to rejoin his teammates for Wednesday’s series finale, but Yost preached the importance of caution. Hosmer was hit with a pitch Sunday afternoon by Red Sox starter Jon Lester.
Hosmer is in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak, hitting .413 during that stretch. The Royals are desperate for offense. So Yost does not want to compound his team’s troubles by rushing Hosmer back.
“That’s why I’m hoping this doesn’t linger,” Yost said. “Give him a couple days now. It might save him. Instead of battling through it, and it affecting him for three weeks, instead of a week. Get it to where it’s manageable.”
Hosmer indicated the level of discomfort had fallen, and his mobility had increased. But he was still looking to rebuild strength in his hand.
“If it was just pain, I could tolerate it,” Hosmer said. “But when I grip it and try to use max strength, it just shuts down.”
With Hosmer out, Billy Butler played the field for the second time this season. Hosmer had played in every inning of every game this season before sitting out Monday.
Vargas is doubtful
A day after throwing a short bullpen session, starter Jason Vargas (appendectomy) still felt some discomfort within his delivery, and Yost deemed it “not likely” he would make his turn in the rotation Sunday.
“He still feels it pulling a little bit in there when he throws,” Yost said. “Of course, that’s all going to have to go away. He’s going to have to throw without discomfort.”
Vargas will likely throw another bullpen session Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Bruce Chen, who started Tuesday, has taken Vargas’ place in the rotation.
Cain sits again
The presence of Chicago’s left-handed starter Jose Quintana in the series finale earned Lorenzo Cain a night off on Tuesday. Yost does not like playing the injury-prone Cain on day games after night games. So he sat Cain on Tuesday to keep his right-handed bat fresh for Quintana.
“If there was a righty going tomorrow, he would play tonight,” Yost said. “And take tomorrow off.”
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