TODAY: Dyson is expected to be out for six weeks after being diagnosed with a Grade II strain, skipper Ned Yost told reporters including Dodd (Twitter link). Plans for his absence are understandably preliminary. Yost said that Orlando could see regular action but suggested that others will be given a chance to earn playing time during camp, as MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets.
YESTERDAY: Royals right fielder Jarrod Dyson left today’s spring opener with an oblique injury, and following the game, manager Ned Yost told reporters, including Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, that Dyson is undergoing an MRI and will miss “a couple weeks, minimum, I would suspect.” The Royals expect to know more about his timeline for a return tomorrow.
An injury to the fleet-footed Dyson, who sits atop the club’s depth chart in right field as the season nears, is clearly not how the Royals hoped to begin the year as they prepare to defend a World Series title. If Dyson’s MRI comes back clean and he’s back on the field in two weeks, he’ll likely have time to get up to speed for the season. However, oblique injuries have a reputation for lingering, and a more prolonged injury could of course impact Dyson’s availability for Opening Day.
It’d be a stretch to imply that this news makes the Royals likely to go out and take any sort of action in terms of free agency or trades, though a prolonged absence from Dyson could have that effect. If anything, the early injury could serve to somewhat increase fellow left-handed-hitting outfielder Travis Snider’s chances of making the club’s Opening Day roster. Snider, a former top prospect with the Blue Jays, is in camp on a minor league deal and a non-roster invite.
Alternatives that are already on the 40-man roster include Paulo Orlando, Reymond Fuentes, Jorge Bonifacio, Bubba Starling, Brett Eibner, Terrance Gore and Jose Martinez. If the Royals were to eventually look to the free-agent market — and that’s a very large “if” at this point — there are still a number of fairly notable names available, including Austin Jackson, Marlon Byrd, David DeJesus and former Royal Alex Rios. Additionally a number of players figure to become available later in camp, as veterans that signed minor league deals with March opt-out dates begin to exercise those clauses.