Adalberto Mondesi was activated from the 10-day injured list before the Kansas City Royals’ Tuesday game, though he didn’t appear in the contest.
He was standing in the on-deck circle when the last out was made in the Royals’ 4-3 loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers.
The plan was to activate Mondesi on Wednesday, but when a spot opened up with right-hander Ronald Bolanos going on the IL due to a right elbow ailment, the Royals pushed it up a day.
Mondesi is likely to be back in the starting lineup Wednesday at shortstop for the series finale. While that’s where he has started more than three-fourths of his games (243 of 315), there has been some scuttlebutt that he might be better off in center field.
The Tigers handed the Royals their fifth straight loss on Tuesday, and Kansas City has not held a lead in any of the five games.
Kansas City will send right-hander Brady Singer (3-5, 4.85 ERA) to the mound Wednesday night against Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (3-7, 4.35).
Mondesi had been out since May 31 when he came out of the game with a left hamstring strain. Even though that injury was initially considered minor, he didn’t appear in the Royals’ first 14 games this month. The team went 4-10, including losing the past five in a row and 10 of the past 11.
“He looked really good (Monday),” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Mondesi’s return. “(That) was the first day I saw him move where it looked like Mondi. Watching him run, it didn’t look like he was favoring (the leg) at all.”
In center field, Mondesi could use his speed more than he does in the infield. Moving Mondesi away from short would allow him to show off his elite speed, and it could open a spot for the Royals’ top prospect, Bobby Witt Jr., who has 10 home runs in 33 games in Double-A. However, Matheny dismissed that question as quickly as it was asked Tuesday.
“I think you’d have some center fielders who would argue about the quick burst,” Matheny said, avoiding answering the question directly. “The data shows us that (center field) is one of the heaviest loads on the legs.
“I think you’re more at risk being outside of your normal space and what you’re accustomed to.”
The Tigers have injury woes of their own, specifically on the pitching staff. They put Monday’s starting pitcher, left-hander Matthew Boyd, and right-handed reliever Alex Lange on the injured list Tuesday. Both came out of the Monday’s game ailing, Boyd with left arm discomfort and Lange with a strained right shoulder.
The Tigers plan to call up top prospect Matt Manning to start Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. He will join Skubal and Wednesday’s winner, Casey Mize, as touted rookies in the Detroit starting staff.
“Obviously we have visions in the future of having those three be very stable parts of a rotation,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “They’ve got to go all out and earn it. They are at different points of their development track to become guys like that. But I hope what Tarik and Casey have learned so far will quickly be communicated to Matt as he gets underway.”
Skubal has won three of his past four decisions after starting the season 0-6. He has 43 strikeouts and 12 walks over 27 innings in his past five starts.
In three career games against Kansas City, including one start, Skubal is 0-3 with a 3.95 ERA. He lost to the Royals on April 25 in Detroit, when he gave up two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Singer is 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA in six career starts against Detroit, including 2-0 with a 4.32 ERA in three starts in 2021.
Singer took a no-decision against the A’s in his last outing, Friday in Oakland. He allowed three runs over six innings with seven strikeouts. The Royals came back and tied the game in the eighth but lost 4-3 on a walk-off single in the ninth.
–Field Level Media