Kansas City Royals oft-injured and dynamic shortstop Adalberto Mondesi continues to rehabilitate the oblique injury that has kept him off the field this season, but he’s now doing his rehab in Arizona.
Mondesi, who went on the injured list on March 31, suffered a right oblique strain at the end of spring training. He broke camp with the team, but he went on the IL before the season started.
Nicky Lopez, who’d been slated to begin the season in the minors, has served as the club’s primary shortstop this season. Lopez was an AL Gold Glove Award finalist at second base last season.
Mondesi has been rehabbing in Kansas City. Though he had not traveled with the team on the road.
Saturday, Royals manager Mike Matheny said Mondesi will work with the Royals staff and the group of players in extended spring training at the team’s complex in Arizona. The idea being to ramp up the intensity of his workload and simulate game-speed activity as he progresses toward a return to the majors.
The Royals still have not shared a timetable for when Mondesi might go on a potential minor-league rehab assignment.
Matheny said how long Mondesi will be in Arizona will be “completely driven by the medical team.”
Mondesi has been cleared for full activity in the field, playing defense. He has also been able to take swings from the right side, but the Royals training staff has been cautious and deliberate with his activit at the plate from the left side.
There’s optimism he might be able to start taking swings from the left side next week.
“We get him into a good place, fully healthy and fully on-time with how he feels at the plate, we’re talking about the kind of player who does everything,” Matheny said. “Whether it’s elite defense, elite speed, the ability to change the game with the bat. It’s all there. We don’t need it all, but we’ll take components of it. There’s some parts, like that speed, that never takes a day off. We’ll be using his defensive ability also — the range he has, his arm, his athleticism, all those things. We’ll look forward to see (those things) when the time comes.”
Last season coming off of a season-ending shoulder injury in 2019 and then an interrupted spring training due to the pandemic, Mondesi struggled badly through the first month of the shortened season.
Through his first 30 games, Mondesi posted a slash line of .213/.234/.278 before a late-season resurgence.
In his final 29 games, Mondesi exploded offensively and slashed .297/.350/.550 with six doubles, two triples, nine walks, six home runs, 20 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 17 stolen bases in 21 tries. He became the eighth player in MLB history twitch 14 extra-base hits and 16 steals in a calendar month (September 2020).
He led the majors with 24 stolen bases and 15 infield hits in 2020.