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Lopez returns to Opening Day lineup after Mondesi injury

Nicky Lopez
Posted at 12:39 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 13:39:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are always surprises when Spring turns to the real thing in Major League Baseball.

One of them for the Kansas City Royals this season was the sending down of infielder Nicky Lopez to Minor League camp.

"It's easy at that point to kind of feel sorry for yourself," Lopez said. "But you kind of have to flip the script and be like 'Let's get better. Let's use this as an opportunity.'"

An opportunity immediately came open when the Royals announced earlier this week that starting shortstop Adalberto Mondesi would start the season on the 10-day IL with a right oblique strain.

Re-enter Nicky Lopez.

"It was probably a good three, four days that I was down," Lopez said. "Now I'm looking forward to just helping this team win."

Lopez is the Royals' starting shortstop while Mondesi is out.

"Kind of looking at it as this is a good opportunity and even though I got sent down, this is a way to better myself, and maybe it was just a blessing in disguise kind of thing," Lopez said.