Eibner on mend, takes part in batting practice

Royals rookie outfielder expects to come off DL when eligible

Eibner on mend, takes part in batting practice

BALTIMORE -- Royals rookie outfielder Brett Eibner appears to be healing quickly, and even took some early batting practice on Monday at Camden Yards.

Eibner has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a lateral sprain of the left ankle.

"I didn't have any pain," Eibner said of his batting practice session. "I was able to swing it pretty normally without any hesitations. I was really able to put a lot of weight on [the ankle], on the front side. It was good.

"I'm just looking to keep progressing."

Eibner also has been performing some outfield drills with coach Rusty Kuntz.

"We'll just keep going at it day by day," Eibner said. "We're not going to push it. But we're going to do the best we can to keep progressing."

While Eibner originally feared a potential broken bone in the ankle or an Achilles injury and a long recovery, it appears now that Eibner could come off the disabled list close to his 15 days minimum.

"We hit it hard every day to do stuff to flush it out," Eibner said. "The training staff here is incredible ...

"I'm looking at 15 days and that could be it."

Omar's playing time
As rookie Whit Merrifield started again at second base on Monday, it has become obvious that the transition to Merrifield taking Omar Infante's job has become reality for now.

Royals manager Ned Yost said at the beginning of the season that Infante would play about five times a week. Infante hasn't played since Thursday and not since he made a costly error in an excruciating loss that night in Cleveland.

"He's not going to be five days a week," Yost said of Infante. "Whit's playing good right now. He's been more productive."

Medlen throws live BP
Right-hander Kris Medlen, on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain, threw live batting practice at extended spring training. Yost said Medlen passed all the tests and will throw another live BP before being re-evaluated for a possible rehab stint.

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.