The Royals remain hopeful that left fielder Alex Gordon could be back in the lineup this weekend after positive results during the first two days of a rehab assignment.
Gordon entered Tuesday 3 for 6 with a double and a homer after two games at Class AA Northwest Arkansas, the homer coming in a 5-3 loss to the Arkansas Travelers on Monday night. He finished 1 for 5 on Tuesday in a 9-2 victory.
Gordon is in the final stages of recovery from a broken scaphoid bone in his right hand, which occurred during a collision with Mike Moustakas on May 22 in Chicago.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Gordon was slated to remain at Northwest Arkansas, though he didn’t rule out a quick stop at Class AAA Omaha before returning to Kansas City. The Omaha Storm Chasers returned home from a road trip Tuesday.
The Royals will have a day off Thursday following a two-game set in New York. Gordon’s return appears imminent — even as the club is hesitant to put a specific day on it.
“If he keeps feeling good, it might be as early as this weekend,” Yost said.
Friday’s series opener against Houston looms as a natural fit. Before he departed on his rehab assignment, Gordon said he was targeting a return for this weekend’s series against the Astros at Kauffman Stadium.
Gordon was batting .211 with a .319 on-base percentage and four homers in 42 games before his injury. The club is currently carrying four outfielders, in addition to utility man Whit Merrifield, who is logging the majority of the playing time at second base.
If Merrifield continues to see regular starts at second base, the club will likely have to keep Christian Colon on the roster as a backup infielder. That means the Royals will have to shed an outfielder or a pitcher — the club currently has 13 on the roster — to accommodate the return of Gordon to the roster.
For now, the club will monitor his progress.
“He’s right on track,” Yost said.
Medlen continues rehab stint
Right-hander Kris Medlen allowed four earned runs and six hits in three innings in a rehab start at Class AA Northwest Arkansas on Monday. He threw 56 pitches, striking out three while walking two.
It was his second rehab start at Northwest Arkansas and his longest to date. He allowed no runs in two innings last Wednesday.
Medlen went on the disabled list May 12 with right rotator cuff inflammation. He posted a 7.77 ERA in 24 1/3 innings across three starts. He has missed 36 games.
Cain needs All-Star votes
And then there were two.
The angst over Royals fan voting for the All-Star Game certainly has blown over now. The latest batch of results shows two Royals in the starting lineup: first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who had been in the third spot in outfield voting, dropped to fifth. The Angels’ Mike Trout is leading the outfield vote (2,324,597), followed by Boston’s Jackie Bradley, Jr. (1,725,672) and Mookie Betts (1,435,218). Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo is fourth (1,408,195) and then Cain (1,403,617).
The top three vote-getters in the outfield will start the All-Star Game, which is July 12 in San Diego.
Perez has garnered the most votes of any AL player (2,744,293), well ahead of second-place Matt Wieters of the Orioles (807,958). Hosmer (2,054,642) also has a big lead over second-place Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers (1,481,445).
Royals’ designated hitter Kendrys Morales (861,030) is second to Boston’s David Ortiz (2,612,215), while shortstop Alcides Escobar (1,150,576) is behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts (2,116,020).
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado (1,626,064) is well ahead of the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson (1,112,743) and injured Royal Mike Moustakas (943,582).
Houston’s Jose Altuve (1,606,705) leads at second base. Seattle’s Robinson Cano is second (1,004,620), while Omar Infante was fourth (807,443).