A lingering case of lower back stiffness will keep second baseman Omar Infante out of the Royals’ lineup until at least Saturday, and leaves the team contemplating a roster move.
Manager Ned Yost does not believe Infante will require a stint on the disabled list. He received a batch of anti-inflammatory medicine to combat the condition. Yost said Infante would “possibly” undergo an MRI here in the Pacific Northwest, where the team begins a four-game series on Thursday night.
“If he’s not any better (Friday),” Yost said, “then maybe we shoot for Tuesday, after the off day. See if he’ll be OK by then.”
In Infante’s absence, third baseman Danny Valencia is playing second base. The roster lacks an experienced backup middle infielder. They could swap a reliever for a player like Johnny Giavotella, who was batting .352 with Class AAA Omaha heading into Thursday’s game.
Infante sat out two days in 2013 with a similar condition. After a few days, he said, the discomfort departed.
Infante felt his back tighten up after Tuesday’s 11-inning victory. He took swings before Wednesday’s game without incident. But an attempt to field groundballs went awry.
As he sat at his locker, Infante pantomimed bending over to scoop the ball. “I do this two times,” he said. “And I said ‘Wow.’ I can’t stay there.”