The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Royals first baseman Hosmer back in lineup, left-hander Vargas could return by weekend

  • Print

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Left-hander Jason Vargas peered toward the plate, wound up and delivered a fastball with total confidence, and Eric Hosmer took a massive cut with just as much certainty in his swing.

Both of which were good news for the Kansas City Royals.

For Hosmer, it was one last test of his bruised hand before returning to the lineup for Tuesday night's series opener against Minnesota. For Vargas, it was a four-inning simulated game that could be the final hurdle in returning to the starting rotation following an appendectomy.

The Royals began the day five games back of Detroit in the AL Central, and just 2 1/2 games out of the second wild card. They are trying to end a playoff drought that stretches back to 1985.

"Games throughout the year are huge," Hosmer said, "but obviously time is ticking down now."

Hosmer's return should help. Not only is he far better defensively than Billy Butler, who filled in at first base, but he also was starting to heat up when he took a pitch from Boston's Jon Lester off his right hand. Hosmer was hitting .410 in July, the best in the majors.

Hosmer believes he'll be able to pick up right where he left off.

"I'm ready to get back in there and not have to watch anymore," he said. "It feels good."

Vargas, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals this season, has been on the disabled list since July 10. He threw 15 pitches in each of his simulated innings Tuesday, and said moments after walking off the field that "everything is good."

Manager Ned Yost didn't rule out Vargas returning to the rotation this weekend, when the club plays in Oakland. That would mean sending out a starter who is 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA rather than getting another start from Bruce Chen, who is just 2-3 with a 6.42 ERA this season.

"We just go day to day with it. Our focus today is to win this ballgame, and I don't take it much farther than that," Yost said, when pressed for a timetable on Vargas' return. "You're asking me to answer questions that I don't have the answer to."

In other news, catcher Erik Kratz and touted prospect Christian Colon arrived following Monday's trade with the Blue Jays. Kratz was acquired along with minor league pitcher Liam Hendriks for third baseman Danny Valencia, while Colon was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

Kratz, a longtime minor leaguer, will back up Salvador Perez, while Colon will serve as a utility infielder capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop.

"I'm going to come out here and work every day and make sure I'm doing everything in my power to win games," Colon said. "The guys here are doing a great job. I'm just trying to help out."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Your cheapskate questions

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google