Gordon has been nursing a sore wrist he has injured twice sliding hands first into second base in the past week. According to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, Gordon will not play this weekend against Detroit but is not going on the DL.
In another annoying development, Gordon isn’t being replaced by teammate Alcides Escobar on the All-Star roster, but by Angels’ shortstop Eric Aybar. It’s not that Aybar isn’t deserving, but so is Escobar, and if you are going to replace a Royal on the roster, why not with another Royal who is equally deserving?
Gordon’s wrist injury coincides with an emergency appendectomy for Jason Vargas. Vargas was placed on the Disabled List because he is going to miss probably 3-4 weeks while recovering.
Bruce Chen will replace Vargas in the rotation, and 42-year old Raul Ibanez will most likely take Gordon’s spot in left. That will be a gigantic step back defensively, from a 3-time Gold Glove winner who is almost as close to qualifying for a senior discount as he is to being in his twenties again. Ouch.
Ibanez has a putrid slash so far with the Royals. In 27 plate appearances, his slash is .111/.111/.222/.333. He has 1 home run, 2 RBI, 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. He fits right in.
The Royals offense can hardly afford to be without Gordon for long. It is unfortunate he is going to miss this important Tigers series. The Royals are second in the AL Central, 4.5 games behind the Tigers.
If the Royals can win 3 out of 4, they would be just 2.5 games back heading into the break. With Gordon out for all four games, and Chen starting for Vargas one of the games, the odds of Kansas City winning the series definitely drop.
If missing this series and the All-Star game means that Alex Gordon will be ready to play next Friday, then so be it. Let’s just hope the Royals aren’t any further back than 4.5 games when they return from the break.