Royals outfielder Jorge Soler will miss at least six weeks after breaking a bone in his left foot while leaving the batter’s box in Kansas City’s series opener against Houston.
Soler had provided some much-needed punch to a struggling Kansas City offense, batting .265 with nine homers and 28 RBIs. He has been especially crucial while fellow outfielder Jorge Bonifacio finishes off his 80-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
The Royals’ triple-A affiliate in Omaha is on a West Coast trip, making it impossible to get anybody to the ballpark in time for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Astros. The Royals will place Soler on the disabled list and make a corresponding roster move before Sunday’s series finale.
“It’s very tough. He was very disappointed, very upset last night,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He knew something was wrong. He was putting together a really, really, good, solid year where he’s getting a chance to play every day and was doing some nice things.”
Soler’s injury occurred in the seventh inning of the Royals’ 7-3 loss on Friday night. He stumbled out of the batters’ box and crumpled to the ground before limping to the dugout, and an X-ray revealed a fracture in the first metatarsal on his left foot, just behind the big toe.
Yost said a CT scan showed the break isn’t big enough to warrant surgery at this time, but Soler will be evaluated again in about 10 days to determine the next course of treatment.
Also Saturday, Yost said Lucas Duda will begin his rehab assignment Sunday with Omaha. The first baseman has been out since May 14 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Bonifacio could be ready to rejoin the club on July 1.
Longoria to have surgery
San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria has elected to have surgery on his broken left hand, hoping that can speed his return to the field. Longoria was injured Thursday when he was hit in the hand by a pitch from Miami’s Dan Straily.
Longoria underwent an examination in Los Angeles on Saturday morning and said surgery was not required. The procedure could improve his recovery time, he said.
“Hopefully soon after the All-Star break, I should be back,” Longoria said before the Giants played the Dodgers. “It shouldn’t be too long before I can start the process of strengthening it. Once the incision heals, it’s pretty much pain tolerance.”
“It’s best to say six to eight weeks, but I have a hard time telling myself that,” Longoria said. “I’ll definitely push for some time soon after the All-Star break.”
The surgery will be done Tuesday in Los Angeles by hand specialist Steven Shin and a permanent pin will be inserted in Longoria’s left hand.
The 32-year-old Longoria is batting .246 with 10 home runs in his first season with the Giants, and was tied for the team lead with 34 RBIs.
Gruber’s appearance cut short
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame pulled Kelly Gruber from its induction weekend festivities after the former Toronto Blue Jays third baseman made an awkward appearance termed “unacceptable and inappropriate” by organizers during a Pitch Talks panel discussion a day earlier.
Gruber was briefly on stage at the Homestand Sports event Thursday night with host Ashley Docking and Rogers Sportsnet broadcaster Kevin Barker in Toronto.
“Basically what happened was by the time he got on stage he appeared to be inebriated,” said Homestand Sports founder Kevin Kennedy. “He was just acting sort of obnoxious, kind of erratic, he was confrontational with our host, Ashley, and quite quickly I knew that this wasn’t going in the right direction.”
Gruber was one of several former Blue Jays chosen to participate in various Hall events in the lead-up to Saturday’s ceremony in Ontario, where former major league stars Pedro Martinez and Lloyd Moseby will be inducted along with baseball historian William Humber.
“There’s two sides to every story and I would love to tell mine,” Gruber said in a statement. “Maybe what I said was taken the wrong way. My intention for being there was to honor my teammate and buddy Lloyd, and the interview part went south for a variety of reasons which I will detail at a later date.”
The Atlanta Braves have placed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz on the 10-day disabled list with triceps tightness and reinstated Julio Teheran to take his place. After Foltynewicz threw a bullpen session Saturday, the team decided to give him extra rest in hopes of bringing him back next weekend. The right-hander is off to the best start of his four-year stay with Atlanta, going 5-4 in 14 starts with a 2.16 ERA that ranks third in the NL. Teheran will start Sunday against the Padres.
4:30 p.m.: This report has been updated with news about Evan Longoria’s upcoming surgery.
This report was originally published at 1:25 p.m.