Alex Rios has re-injured the right thumb that dogged him during the second half of 2014. Rios jammed the digit during his final at-bat on Wednesday night. Manager Ned Yost estimated Rios would receive two or three days off.
“We’re going to nip that in the bud here,” Yost said on Thursday morning.
Yost indicated Rios was dealing with swelling in his thumb and had been managing the condition for “a little bit.” Rios resided in the training room while the clubhouse was open to reporters.
Rios dealt with a bruised thumb for months in 2014. The injury resulted from a sprained ankle, which limited his range of motion on swings and exposed his thumb to damage. In September he underwent surgery to clean out an infection in the thumb.
With his body banged up, Rios managed only four home runs, well below the 19 he averaged from 2011-13. The Royals are banking on a rebound from Rios — if healthy.
In 14 Cactus League games, Rios hit .308 with three home runs, three doubles and a .940 on-base plus slugging percentage. The blip with his thumb gives cause for concern.
The plan for rest allowed the club to “go ahead and get a jump on this,” Yost said. “Let some of that swelling get out of there. Because he has had issues with this before. And there’s no sense pressing it in spring training. He’s ready to go. Looks good.”