After playing catch on Saturday, Royals second baseman Omar Infante was slated to undergo a more intense workout before Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners.
Infante intended to test out the inflammation in his lower back by taking swings in the batting cage and fielding grounders. It was the latter activity that prompted his back discomfort to flare up before Wednesday’s game in San Diego. The team called up Johnny Giavotella to replace him on Friday.
To make room for Giavotella, the Royals optioned reliever Michael Mariot to Class AAA Omaha. The maneuver left manager Ned Yost with 11 pitchers. He intends to make another roster move before Tuesday’s game against the Rockies.
Yost does not believe Infante will require a stint on the disabled list. But he has already missed five games. If Infante is able to play, the team could send Giavotella back to the minors.
"We’ll see where [Infante’s] at," Yost said.
Lefty reliever Francisley Bueno has allowed four runs in four innings on a rehab assignment with the Storm Chasers.
NO PROGRESS FOR CHEN
Bruce Chen (bulging disc) is not close to beginning a rehab assignment, Yost said. Danny Duffy will start in Chen’s place next Saturday against the Orioles.
Chen is limited to playing catch. His injury has lasted longer than Yost expected.
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