The return of outfielder Jarrod Dyson still lacks an official target date or timetable. But as he continues his rehab from a strained oblique, Dyson has set an unofficial goal.
“I don’t feel like I’m too far out,” Dyson said. “I feel like I’m making good progress, and I shouldn’t miss no more than two weeks of the season.”
Dyson suffered the injury, a Grade 2 oblique strain, in the Royals’ spring training opener on March 2. The club’s medical staff said the recovery would likely cause him to miss six weeks.
The Royals open the season against the New York Mets on April 3 at Kauffman Stadium. But with three off-days during the season’s first week, they will play just 12 games during the season’s first 16 days.
In recent days, Dyson has begun throwing on a side field here in Surprise. He has also started doing limited exercises in the weight room, lifting only his body weight. He has yet to swing a bat, he said.
“I’m trying to let it heal a little bit,” Dyson said.
For now, Dyson said, his rehab process has been mostly based on feel. He will likely remain limited until he is totally pain free, and he is set to begin the season on the disabled list. Club officials are still sorting through minor-league assignments, but it’s likely Dyson could remain in extended spring training for a rehab stint.
“I got to make sure this pain fully heals, because I don’t want (any) setbacks,” Dyson said. “So that’s what I’m looking at.”
Orlando leads right-field race
Royals manager Ned Yost says the competition for the right-field position is still ongoing, but it appears Paulo Orlando is a lock for the opening day roster.
“Paulo has definitely done a great job out there,” Yost said. “It’s a matter of who is going to complement him.”
The Royals are still looking at outfielders Reymond Fuentes and Travis Snider and utility man Whit Merrifield, who can play all three outfield positions in addition to all four infield spots. For now, the club has not decided whether it will carry four or five outfielders.