KC Royals Expect Lorenzo Cain To Miss 12 Games
KC Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain left Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals with an undetermined hamstring injury. After examination, Kansas City Royals officials believe he could return after missing 12 games—which puts his return after the All-Star break.
According to Rustin Dodd at the Kansas City Star, tests Wednesday morning indicated that Cain had a grade 1-plus hamstring strain. KC Royals manager Ned Yost told Dodd:
"“It always could be worse.”"
The KC Royals are fortunate that Cain will apparently miss less than two-weeks of play. Not only is his injury relatively mild, the off days surrounding the All-Star break mean that Cain won’t miss as many games as he might otherwise expect.
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Given that Lorenzo Cain won’t miss that much time, I expect the Kansas City Royals will be able to patch his spot in the lineup with a combination of Brett Eibner and Jarrod Dyson rather than resort to seeking help on the trade market. Of course, that analysis might change if Cain’s condition worsens, or he suffers a significant setback in his recovery.
Cain is right in the middle of his prime, slashing .301/.339/.41 with 28 stolen bases in 2014, improving to .307/.361/.477 with a career high 16 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 2015, to hitting .290/.336/.416 in 73 games in 2016. With eight home runs less than half-way through the 2016 seaosn, Cain was on pace to put more balls over the wall than in any season in his career.
Losing him even for two weeks will hurt, especially since the Cleveland Indians are threatening to run away with the division by reeling off a 12-game winning streak. Currently, the second-place KC Royals trail the Tribe by 6 games in the AL Central.
Next: Royals Report: KC Takes 12 Innings To Knock Off Cards
Cain’s absence encouraged manager Ned Yost to use designated hitter Kendrys Morales in right field to make up for some of the offense lost by replacing Cain with Jarrod Dyson. Expect Morales to continue to play in right field as the Kansas City Royals continue their current road trip with three games in Philadelphia after their series finale Thursday night against St. Louis.