The Royals stormed past the Angels in the ALDS, but second baseman Omar Infante was held hitless during the three-game series as his right shoulder continues to be an issue. According to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Infante isn’t afraid to admit that he’s playing through pain right now.
“When I swing in BP, I feel a lot of pain,” Infante said. “I can’t swing really hard. I feel bad, because all year, I’ve felt something.”
Infante isn’t exaggerating here. It started with his elbow and shoulder during spring training. He was then hit in the face by a pitch in April and missed some time with a back issue in May. However, the shoulder issue has lingered through all of it. He received an injection in the back of his shoulder joint around two months ago, but now the discomfort has shifted to the front of his shoulder. The expectation is that he could require minor surgery after the season.
Royals manager Ned Yost has Christian Colon as an in-house alternative to play second base, but all signs point to Infante staying in the lineup for as long as they are alive in the postseason. To help manage his shoulder issue, the 32-year-old has cut down on pre-game hitting and tries to throw as little as possible.
After joining the Royals on a four-year, $30.25 million contract over the winter, Infante batted just .252/.295/.337 with six home runs and 66 RBI over 135 games this season. He had just one homer and a .553 OPS during the second half.