Since Omar Infante was placed on the disabled list with lower back inflammation, the Royals have had to trot out the underwhelming Johnny Giavotella and Pedro Ciriaco at second base. As should be expected, their production has paled in comparison to what Infante would be able to provide. On a team that struggled to score runs even when Infante was in the lineup, his production has been sorely missed.
Fortunately, there is good news on the injury front. Infante began his rehab assignment with the Omaha Storm Chasers last night, serving as the designated hitter. His performance was likely not what he had hoped for, as Infante went 0-4 with three strikeouts, but the overall results likely do not matter. As long as Infante is comfortable in the batter’s box and on the field, that is far more important.
The next step for Omar Infante will come today, as he will be playing in the field for the first time. Since the pain he felt while fielding was the biggest reason as to why Infante needed to be placed on the disabled list, this may be the biggest test, as well as an indication as to when he will be able to return.
Infante had been a key piece of the Royals offense, leading the team in RBIs and had ranked second in OPS+ at the time of his injury. Likewise, his steady defense provided the Royals pitching staff with the comfort of knowing that anything hit in the vicinity of second base would likely be turned into an out. After watching Ciriaco’s defense, having Infante return will make it seem as though the Royals had brought back Frank White.
As long as Omar Infante can prove that he is able to play in the field without pain, his return to Kansas City may soon be forthcoming. Hopefully, that will be the case tonight.