Aoki on DL with groin injury; Maxwell returns
Cain, Infante take break from starting lineup in rematch against Mariners
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell was happy to be back in the Royals' clubhouse, despite the constant chirping of teammate Jarrod Dyson. "I missed that voice," Maxwell said with a smile.
Maxwell was brought back from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday as right fielder Nori Aoki was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of his recurring problems with a groin injury.
Maxwell went right into the starting lineup in right field against Seattle as Lorenzo Cain got a day off. Dyson was in center field where he could chatter at Maxwell all afternoon if he wanted.
In his return, Maxwell went 1-for-3 with a single in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners.
Aoki came out of Tuesday's game at Detroit in the second inning because of the injury, missed Wednesday's game, and played again on Thursday, but not at 100 percent. Although Aoki felt better when the club returned to Kansas City, Yost decided to rest him on Friday night, but Aoki was needed as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of the 7-5 loss.
"When he had to jump out of the way of that pitch is when he re-tweaked it," Yost said. "So they MRI'd him today and it's a grade one-plus strain. They injected it so that will aid the healing process. So, he'll be 15 days to 20 days and we'll see what we get."
Maxwell was hitting .316 in 25 games for the Storm Chasers with five homers, five doubles and 18 RBIs.
"It's great to be back. You never know when it's going to be your last opportunity to play in the big leagues," Maxwell said.
Earlier this season with Kansas City, Maxwell hit just .138 in 16 games and was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Omaha. Getting at-bats on a consistent basis made a difference for him.
"My first game, those first few at-bats felt like the first game of Spring Training because it'd been so long since I'd been in there," Maxwell said. "But getting into a routine and working with [hitting coach] Tommy Gregg every day really paid off."
Maxwell's arrival enabled Yost to give Cain a needed day off. Also given a break on Saturday afternoon was second baseman Omar Infante.
"It's a short turnaround. He and Cain have been at it every day," Yost said. "It's going to be real hot, I just wanted to give them a day."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.