But Dozier will get his chance now. On Monday, the Royals placed Duda on the 10-day disabled list because of right foot plantar fasciitis. Dozier was recalled and started at first base Monday night against the Rays, going 0-for-3 in a 2-1 loss.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue between the heel bone and the toes on the sole of the foot.
"He has been dealing with it for quite some time," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Duda's injury. "He had a shot for it during Spring Training. But Sunday, on his last at-bat, he felt it. He thought he stepped on his bat.
"It kind of tore [the plantar] in there. And that's kind of a good thing because you get all this fluid built up in there and now it will just kind of release."
Yost remembered as a player having the same injury.
"You get up in the morning and you can barely walk," Yost said.
Yost said there was no estimated timetable for Duda's return.
Interestingly, while the Royals during Spring Training appeared to have been somewhat grooming Dozier as a potential future first baseman, he said he played there only twice at Triple-A Omaha this season.
"Mainly been playing third base and right field," said Dozier, who was drafted in 2013 as a shortstop but quickly converted to a third baseman. "But I was getting reps at first during pitchers fielding practice."
Dozier, 26, was hitting .254 in 35 games for Omaha with one home run and a .724 OPS.
"It doesn't really show but I've been having good at-bats," Dozier said. "It feels good. I'm seeing the ball well. I'm not really getting any luck. A lot of lineouts. I can't really control the results. But I've been feeling good, so that's what matters."
Honorary Bat Girl
Mila Ellsworth, a standout softball player and coach for over 17 years in the Kansas City area, was the Royals' Honorary Bat Girl on Monday night, part of MLB's support of the annual "Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative.
Ellsworth, from Olathe, Kan., was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015 at the age of 36. At diagnosis, she was found to have a BRCA 1 mutation and underwent chemotherapy and surgery. She has since undergone a lymph bypass surgery due to lymphedema but continues to be monitored by her doctors.