Rookie outfielder Brett Eibner put his sprained left ankle through a thorough test on Sunday, working out in the morning at Progressive before the final game of a four-game series.
For close to 15 minutes, Eibner shagged ground balls in the outfield from the bat of first-base coach Rusty Kuntz. When the defensive portion was done, he did some light running in right field. Eibner appeared healthy and agile during the workout but said he was still days away from feeling close to 100 percent.
“It’s still a little ways off,” Eibner said. “We’ve still got some days to really get it right, and I won’t be back out there until it is right. But I’ve got it taped up and I’ve got some support on it, so it’s been taking some stress off of it. But it’s still a sprained ankle, and I’ve got to get it stronger.”
Eibner, a 27-year-old outfielder, was recalled from Class AAA Omaha on May 26 after Mike Moustakas went on the disabled list with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He appeared in four games, batting .462 (six for 13) while recording a walk-off single in his second career game. He turned his ankle in a 10-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
For now, Eibner said he still felt some limitations in the ankle.
“It’s not everything,” Eibner said of his workout. “Just getting some work on it, and seeing what I can do with it.”
His replacement, outfielder Reymond Fuentes, had five hits in his first two starts. Eibner will be eligible to come off the disabled list on June 16. Left fielder Alex Gordon, who suffered a broken scaphoid bone in his right hand on May 22, could be ready to return to the roster by late June.
Lorenzo Cain gets another day off
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain received his first day off since May 15 on Sunday, resting in the final game of the series.
In all, it was just the third day off for Cain this season. Royals manager Ned Yost said Cain needed the rest, citing the daily toll of playing center field.
“That’s a lot of running that he has to do,” Yost said. “It was time to give him a day.”
With Cain out of the lineup, Yost decided to stick with Salvador Perez at catcher after he returned to the lineup on Saturday night. Perez had missed six games with a quadriceps contusion in his left thigh. Yost said Sunday that Perez could possibly play again Monday when the Royals open a three-game series in Baltimore.
Yost remembers seeing Muhammad Ali
In the days after the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, figures from throughout the sports world shared tales of meeting Ali. Royals manager Ned Yost had his own story, saying he once saw Ali speak at Mississippi State University in the early 1980s.
Yost was living in Jackson, Miss., at the time. Ali had recently retired.
“He went on a speaking tour,” Yost said. “And he came to Mississippi State to do a speaking thing, and he was going to speak at the auditorium. I think it only sold like 100 tickets, right? So they moved it in a small classroom, and I was dying to see him. So I went, and for two hours, he just talked and told stories and answered questions. It was phenomenal.”