The Kansas City Royals had the most players elected to the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, leading the entire league with six players receiving starting nominations. Now it appears that only five Royals will starting for the American League in the mid-summer classic.
In the Royals’ Wednesday win over the Tampa Bay Rays, left fielder Alex Gordon was injured and had to be carted off the field. He suffered a left groin strain as he was running to catch a ball in the fourth inning. Gordon says he heard his left groin “pop” just prior to crashing into the left field wall, where he then laid on the warning track as the crowd fell silent and teammates and trainers rushed to his side.
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) July 9, 2015
When it comes to strains of any kind, a Grade-1 strain usually keeps a player out about a week or two, a Grade-2 strain can keep a player out for up to a month and anything over a Grade-2 strain means missing up to two months, sometimes more. Detroit Tiger’s slugger Miguel Cabrera, for example, recently suffered a Grade-3 calf strain and isn’t expected to return until at least late August.
According to MLB.com Gordon’s strain is Grade-2 plus and Gordon is not likely to return for eight weeks, keeping the All-Star out until September. Fortunately for Gordon, who underwent an MRI, the doctors do not believe that the muscle separated from the bone.
After placing Gordon on the disabled list, the team re-called LHP Brandon Finnegan from Triple-A Omaha. They also activated starter Yordano Ventura from the disabled list in time to make his start Thursday against the Rays, and optioned Aaron Brooks back to Omaha.
Sadly, the 2015 All-Star game would have been Gordon’s fourth straight All-Star appearance. He was elected as a starter this year and will now have to be replaced in the lineup. The 31-year-old was having a stellar season prior to his injury, batting .279 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI along with a career high .394 on-base percentage.
He’ll likely be replaced in the Royals’ lineup and in left field by Jarrod Dyson. Dyson has appeared in 41 games for the Royals this season and is batting .270 with 10 stolen bases. He won’t be Alex Gordon but should be a suitable replacement whose number will likely improve with everyday playing time.
It was just announced that New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, who was part of the final vote for the last spot on each roster, has been chosen to replace Gordon for the AL in the All-Star Game. Gardner, however, will not be the starter for the American League.
That honor will now go to Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles because he received the most votes on the Player Ballot who was not selected by the fans. Royals’ manager and AL All-Star manager Ned Yost was the one who picked Gardner, who was immediately taken off of the “Final Vote” ballot, to replace Gordon on the roster but it is Adam Jones who will be starting in left field at the mid-summer classic in Cincinnati next week.