Last season, Omar Infante was not at his best. Following a stellar 2013 season that saw him produce a .318/.345/.450 batting line for the Tigers, he signed a four year contract worth $30.25 Million with the Royals. The hope was that Infante would finally put an end to the revolving door that second base had become.
Instead, Infante struggled through an injury plagued 2014 season. Bothered by shoulder woes during Spring Training, Infante was then hit in the face during the first week of the season. Infante also dealt with a back injury and further shoulder soreness throughout the season, helping to explain his disappointing .252/.295/.337 batting line and the twelve runs he was considered to have cost the Royals defensively.
Spring Training has not even officially started for the 2015 season yet, and Omar Infante is already dealing with injuries once again. This time, Infante was reported to have inflammation in his right elbow, leading to arm soreness. On the positive side, Infante is expected to begin throwing again on Monday.
While it is far too early to be concerned, as players feel soreness throughout Spring Training as they work their way back into baseball shape, this is certainly worth watching. Could it be that Infante is beginning to break down?
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The Royals certainly have to hope that is not the case. Although Christian Colon looked like he could be a viable player at the major league level during his small sample size last year, the Royals are still counting on a bounce back season from Omar Infante. If nothing else, having Infante healthy and producing could make it easier for the Royals to find a trade partner for the second baseman, given the trade rumors that swirled around Infante this offseason.
One of the biggest keys to the Royals success, at least offensively, this season may well be how Omar Infante performs. If this injury is a sign of things to come, the Royals may need to hope that Colon is truly ready.