Mike Moustakas’ path back to the Royals has come into focus.
Moustakas, out since May 5 because of a thumb fracture, started a brief rehab assignment at Class AA Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday. He served as the Naturals’ designated hitter and collected a pair of singles in four plate appearances, driving in Northwest Arkansas’ lone run in a 2-1 loss to the Arkansas Travelers.
He’s scheduled to play third base on Thursday.
Moustakas is expected to rejoin the Royals when they travel to Chicago to play the White Sox starting on Friday, but probably won’t be in the lineup until Saturday. That way he’ll miss White Sox lefty Jose Quintana, scheduled to start on Friday.
What becomes of Cheslor Cuthbert, who has ably manned third base in Moustakas’ disabled list stay? Cuthbert has been taking ground balls at second base over the past few days, but the Royals have Omar Infante and Christian Colon there. Additionally, Colon offers versatility, with time at third base and shortstop.
“It will be a tough decision,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Also on a rehab assignment this week is left-handed pitcher Mike Minor. He’ll suit up for Class AAA Omaha and start Friday’s game at Reno, Nev.