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Royals place SS Adalberto Mondesi on injured list to begin season

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Adalberto Mondesi
Posted at 1:06 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 15:03:12-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oft-injured Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi will begin the season on the injured list with a right oblique strain.

That leaves the Royals without one of their most exciting players when they open the season against the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

Mondesi led the majors with 10 triples in 2019 and with 24 stolen bases in 2020.

He's slashed .265/.296/.444 during the last three seasons, averaging 33 steals per year in the span.

Mondesi, whose father Raul Mondesi was the 1994 NL Rookie of the Year and former All-Star, looked poised for a star turn of his own in 2018.

He took a bit of a step back in 2019 amid shoulder injuries, but did produce 39 extra-base hits with 43 steals in 102 games that season.

After struggling through the first two-thirds of the truncated 2020 season, Mondesi went on a tear during the final 22 games. He slashed .376/.424/.706 with six doubles, two triples, six home runs, 19 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

The hope was that he could carry over that strong finish into 2021, providing a dynamic table-setter for a promising Royals offense.

Instead, Mondesi was put on the injured list Wednesday retroactive to the previous day. He won't be eligible to return until April 10 at the Chicago White Sox at the earliest.

Nicky Lopez was recalled from the club’s alternate training site in Arkansas, where he was sent last week following a poor spring training at the plate.

Lopez, a career .228 batter in 159 big-league games, hit .118 with only four hits, including a double, in 34 at-bats during spring training. He's a strong defender, but doesn't provide much pop or production at the plate.

The Royals open the 2021 season at 3:10 pm. on Thursday against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.