Royals send Adalberto Mondesi on rehab assignment; Braves claim Billy Hamilton

Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi’s rehab from a shoulder injury took another big step forward with the announcement that he’ll begin playing in minor-league games this week.

The Royals announced on Monday that Mondesi will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday in the second game of their series at New Orleans. Mondesi was expected to meet the team on the road on Monday.

Mondesi sustained a left shoulder subluxation while diving for a foul ball at Kauffman Stadium. He went on the injured list July 17.

The plan going into the week was for Mondesi to serve as designated hitter on Tuesday and progress to playing three to five innings on Wednesday and Thursday. Depending on how the first three games go, he may either serve as DH or get a day off on Friday.

While the Royals haven’t set a definitive timetable for the rehab assignment, it’s likely Mondesi won’t be activated before rosters expand in September.

Mondesi batted .266 with a .294 on-base percentage and a .433 slugging percentage with a major-league leading nine triples and 31 stolen bases in 82 games at the time of his injury. Entering Monday night’s games, Mondesi ranked second in the American League in steals and was tied with teammate Whit Merrifield for the AL lead in triples.

Braves claim Hamilton

The Atlanta Braves claimed former Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers. Hamilton signed a one-year contract worth $4.25 million (plus a $1 million buyout guarantees him $5.25 million) with the Royals last offseason to patrol center field.

Hamilton, one of the elite speedsters in the majors, struggled offensively and batted .211 with a .275 on-base and a .269 slugging percentage in 93 games. He stole 18 bases and scored 32 runs.

The Braves will pick up the remainder of Hamilton’s contract for this season. Hamilton is eligible for the Braves postseason roster because they acquired him before Aug. 31.

Gallagher not close

Catcher Cam Gallagher has not gotten any closer to a return from his oblique injury. Gallagher went on the injured list Aug 8. He has yet to begin a physical rehab progression, and he’s unlikely to be activated before rosters expand in September.

Rookies Meibrys Viloria and Nick Dini have shared catching duties in Gallagher’s absence. Dini, a New Jersey native, was scheduled to start Monday night’s game in Baltimore.

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