The Royals announced this evening that outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. The club has called up left-hander Justin Marks from Triple-A Omaha to replace him on the active roster, which means that Kansas City is now carrying 13 pitchers.
Cain suffered the injury during last night’s win over the Astros. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain, which is the least severe, and that he hopes to return when he’s eligible in two weeks.
Injuries have been an ongoing storyline with Cain during his career. Acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke deal, the 28-year-old plays excellent defense in center field and has shown some ability on offense, but he has has yet to play more than 115 games in a season. The speedy Jarrod Dyson is making the start in center field tonight and should see increased playing time during his absence.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: