The Royals placed Lorenzo Cain on the 15 day disabled list on Saturday with an oblique strain. The move is retroactive to August 8 since Cain didn’t play in Friday’s game. Filling his spot on the roster will be Will Smith, who had just been sent down after three innings on August 6 against the Twins. He went back down when Danny Duffy was recalled to make a start, but since Cain is injured, Smith is eligible to return without waiting the minimum ten days in the minors.
Smith isn’t the only pitcher returning to Kansas City. Donnie Joseph was recalled as well, taking the spot of Francisley Bueno who was designated for assignment. Bueno pitched 2.1 innings in relief of Ervin Santana on Friday and earned the win, but the Royals seem to be getting a fresh arm in line while they can. Joseph will likely end up back in Omaha after tomorrow when Wade Davis returns from leave.
Cain has enjoyed good health this year after missing half of 2012 with groin, hip, and shoulder injuries. He’s had the injury-prone label for a while, but he’s been a valuable player this year with great defense and key offensive contributions. There’s nothing to indicate that this is an issue that will take more than the 15 days to resolve. Most likely, Justin Maxwell will take a lot of his at bats after a hot start since joining the team, but Jarrod Dyson should get more time in center field as well.
Right now, the Royals are also without Salvador Perez, who has been doing catching drills and is headache-free after suffering a concussion last week. He’s changed from a standard catcher’s mask to a hockey style mask and may be cleared to return Sunday, according to Bob Dutton. He describes the Royals as “cautiously hopeful” that Perez will be cleared to return. His return would be a nice boost, especially with Cain out. They’ve played well while Perez has been out, but having two of their up-the-middle defensive stars out at the same time would have to catch up at some point. Getting Perez back at least helps.