KANSAS CITY, Mo — . Outfielder Lorenzo Cain can’t shake the injury bug.
The Royals placed Cain on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox because of a strained left oblique muscle suffered Friday in batting practice.
“On his first swing, he said he felt a `little something,’” manager Ned Yost said. “Just a little discomfort. He took one swing, felt it; took another swing, it got worse; his third swing, he swung and missed and walked out of the cage.”
The Royals also designated left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno for assignment one day after he pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in a 9-6 victory over the Red Sox. Bueno was the winning pitcher.
The Royals filled the two vacancies by recalling two left-handed relievers from Class AAA Omaha: Will Smith and Donnie Joseph. The stay, for at least one of them, is likely to be brief.
“(Wade) Davis will be back (Sunday),” Yost said. “So somebody has to go. It’s just to get us through today. Bueno threw 2 1/3. So we brought Donnie up to give us protection short, and Will up to go long.”
The injury to Cain magnifies the value of the July 31 deal to acquire outfielder Justin Maxwell from Houston. Maxwell entered Saturday with eight hits, including three homers, in 17 at-bats over seven games.
Maxwell started Saturday in right field and figures to get regular playing time as the club’s only right-handed-hitting outfielder.
“I still need another right-handed bat,” Yost said. “There’s just not one there right now. We’ll just work through it.”
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam late Friday confirmed Cain’s injury to be a strained oblique. Recovery time on such injuries can vary, but six weeks is not unusual.
The injury continues disturbing recent career trend.
Various injuries last year limited Cain to 61 big-league games, but he remained healthy this season until now. He heads to the disabled list with four homers, 43 RBIs and a .261 average in 96 games.
Bueno, 32, had a 2.93 ERA in 31 games at Omaha prior his Thursday arrival. He appeared in just the one game before Saturday’s move.
The Royals have 10 days to reach a resolution on Bueno either through a trade, by releasing him or sending him through waivers. If he clears waivers, he can, if willing, be outrighted to a minor-league club.
Optimistic on Perez — The Royals are cautiously optimistic that catcher Salvy Perez will be cleared for active duty before Sunday’s series finale against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
Perez continues to show notable progress in his recovery from a concussion, which was diagnosed after the Aug. 3 victory over the Mets in New York.
He caught a bullpen workout by rehabbing right-hander Felipe Paulino prior to Saturday’s game. Perez then took a regular turn in batting practice for the first time since the injury.
Players diagnosed with concussions must sit out at least seven days, pass a series of standardized tests and be cleared by a club physician and an MLB-approved independent physician prior to return to the roster.