Royals looking to give Infante extra off-days

Royals looking to give Infante extra off-days

CLEVELAND -- Omar Infante's days of being the everyday second baseman for the Royals may be fading away.

Infante originally was scheduled to be off on Friday -- that was before Mike Moustakas' sore thumb made him a late scratch, and forced manager Ned Yost to insert Christian Colon at third base instead of second base. Infante went 1-for-4 and make a nice defensive play in the eighth inning to get an out in a 7-1 loss to the Indians.

The original plan to rest Infante after an off-day wouldn't have been just a normal day off.

"A little bit more to it than that," Yost said before the series opener. "I was thinking of getting CC [Colon] in there more."

The decision to decrease Infante's play stems from his struggles defensively. According to FanGraphs' subjective runs-saved statistic, Infante is minus-1 this season compared to his career average of plus-five.

Infante has had particular issue with trying to backhand balls up the middle -- in the last two weeks he has been unsuccessful on three of those attempts.

"We've never seen him do that," Yost said.

Infante, 34, has no explanation.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I've had a little trouble with backhands. I don't know why. I have to keep working."

Yost now believes that resting Infante regularly could help.

"Omar has been in this league [15] years, and there's a lot of wear and tear," Yost said. "I'm just trying to find ways to keep him productive. Sometimes more recovery time makes him more productive.

"So playing him four days a week or three days a week or five days a week is better than seven days a week. His arm is shortening up and his range is shortening up. I just got to find ways to keep him strong out there."

Infante didn't seem thrilled with the plan to sit him more.

"The manager has to do what is good for the team," he said. "That's not what I want, though. But I can't control that."

Big ratings
The Royals' 13.0 household rating on FOX Sports Kansas City was the highest for any MLB team in the entire month of April since the 2002 Mariners. That 13.0 equates to 117,000 Kansas City homes tuned in, on average, at any given time during a game.

Royals local-market TV ratings rank No. 1 in MLB this season.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.