KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, as expected, was recalled from his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, but with an unexpected twist.
Second baseman Chris Getz was the player the Royals optioned to Omaha to make room for Dyson.
Getz, batting just .214, was getting less playing time lately as Elliot Johnson got more exposure at second base, starting seven of nine games prior to Saturday. Johnson was hitting .246 in 48 games; he's started 28 games at second compared to Getz's 41.
Also in the picture is veteran Miguel Tejada, who started at second base on Saturday afternoon against the White Sox. Both Tejada and Johnson were considered backups when the season began, but now they'll share second base. Tejada is a right-handed hitter and Johnson is a switch-hitter, but he has a much better career average from the left side (.248 to .196).
"Is Elliot going to play the majority of the time at second base? Yeah, absolutely," manager Ned Yost said. "To come out and say he's playing every day doesn't make sense to me."
Tejada, 39, is 10 years older than Johnson.
"He's still a pretty darn good defender at second, at third base," Yost said of Tejada. "He turns [the double play] fine, he's got sure hands and he's got experience."
Dyson said he's completely recovered from a high right ankle injury sustained while climbing the wall on May 15 at Anaheim. He was injured just as he was getting more playing time as center fielder and leadoff batter. And he didn't even come close to catching Mike Trout's home run.
"I don't even want to talk about it, to be honest with you. Of course, I was mad about it," Dyson said. "I was swinging the bat well and I'm just trying to get back to that. I just can't make any more stupid plays like that. But I'm still going to go hard, and the next time I jump on a wall, I hope to get some leather on it."
Dyson was hitting just .137 (7-for-51) with five stolen bases for Omaha.
"I was a little rusty and thinking about coming up here and all that could come into play with it," Dyson said. "But you know what, I've just got to tend to my own garden and get my job done."
Yost indicated that, for now, Dyson wouldn't return to the leadoff spot in the lineup after struggling for Omaha. However, Yost also indicated that Dyson might be in the lineup somewhere on Sunday against the White Sox.
The move leaves the Royals with five outfielders -- Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, David Lough and Dyson. It reduces the backup infield options to only Tejada or Johnson, depending on who is in the starting lineup.
Dyson had played in 18 games for the Royals before his injury, batting .268 (11-for-41) with six stolen bases in seven tries. His rehab time would have expired on Tuesday and, because he is out of options, he could not have remained with Omaha without clearing waivers.
Getz, a left-handed batter, began this season as the regular second baseman, nudging Johnny Giavotella in a battle for the position. Getz had options remaining, which played a major factor in the decision. An alternative move could have been sending Mike Moustakas to Omaha and using Tejada and Johnson in his third-base spot.
"We were pondering this move for about two weeks. We had three or four different options, but we didn't want to be too left-handed," Yost said. "Getz has options, [Moustakas] is doing better, so that was the decision."
Obtained from the White Sox in a November 2009 trade for infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen, Getz's time with the Royals has often been interrupted by injuries. He was on the disabled list three times last season and appeared in only 64 games, batting .275. In September 2010, he sustained a concussion, which ended his season.
In 301 games over four years with the Royals, Getz has a .249 average and 49 stolen bases. He hit his first home run for the team after 829 at-bats on April 16 at Atlanta.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.