Injuries & Moves: Wacha (left foot fracture) activated off IL

June 22nd, 2024

LATEST NEWS

June 22: RHP (left foot fracture) reinstated from 15-day IL; RHP optioned to Triple-A Omaha
Wacha made his return to the Royals on Saturday, starting for the first time since sustaining a left foot fracture during his May 31 start vs. the Padres. Wacha has said his body is feeling good and is ready to go.

Manager Matt Quatraro said Wacha returning to the rotation so quickly is a “bonus.”

“Not only for what he does out here,” Quatraro said, “but for what he brings in the clubhouse and in-game when he’s not pitching.”

Cruz, meanwhile, did not make an appearance during his brief stint with the Royals. He returns to Triple-A Omaha where he has gone 4-1 with one save and a 4.33 ERA over 24 appearances.

June 22: OF (low back tightness) not in starting lineup after early exit Friday
Isbel was replaced in the fifth inning Friday due to low back tightness, and was not in the starting lineup on Saturday. The center fielder homered in the third inning before pinch-hitter Garrett Hampson stepped in for Isbel at the plate in the fifth inning. After the game, manager Matt Quatraro said that Isbel’s injury is not considered serious.

June 21: OF reinstated from 10-day injured list; C optioned to Triple-A Omaha
Renfroe rejoined the Royals on Friday, starting in right field and batting eighth. Renfroe (bone bruise in left big toe) makes his return without going on a rehab assignment. He was one of the team’s hottest hitters when he landed on the IL, slashing .326/.392/.674 with seven doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs in his past 15 games.

“It feels a lot better than it did,” Renfroe said. “I’m ready to go.”

Renfroe didn’t do any baseball activities for five days following the injury, which he sustained after fouling two balls off his left foot on June 10 against the Yankees. He had been building up for the return in the past week, including running the bases at full speed when the Royals were in Oakland.

In a corresponding move, the Royals optioned Nola to Triple-A. He was called up on Saturday, but did not make an appearance with the club.

10-DAY/15-DAY INJURED LIST

RHP (right lat strain)
Expected return: TBD
Altavilla threw an elevated fastball to A's leadoff hitter Max Schuemann on June 19 and immediately grimaced in pain while grabbing his side. Altavilla exited a few moments later with a trainer and was placed on the 15-day IL on June 20.

Manager Matt Quatraro described the injury on June 22 as a “very low lat strain.” The plan for Altavilla is to report to Arizona on June 23, and begin his rehab. Altavilla, 31, allowed six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings after joining Kansas City’s bullpen on June 10. (Last updated: June 22)

2B (low back ligament sprain)
Expected return: July
Massey, who was removed from the game on May 24 after hitting a three-run homer, was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 26 with a lower back ligament sprain. He dealt with a similar issue at the end of Spring Training, which delayed his season debut until April 19.

Massey began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on June 18 and served as the Storm Chasers' designated hitter. He will DH only for the next week or two to focus on swinging and make sure he recovers well before moving to the field. Position players can stay up to 20 days on a rehab assignment. (Last updated: June 18)

3B , Royals No. 2 prospect (right oblique strain)
Expected return: July
Wallace was placed on the 7-day Minor League injured list on May 22 after exiting his Double-A game in the first inning. He was replaced by a pinch-runner after hitting a single in his first plate appearance on May 21 as he dealt with what the Royals described as right side tightness.

Further testing revealed an oblique strain for the Royals' second-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. The recovery timeframe was six weeks from the time of injury, which puts his return sometime in July. Wallace is slashing .282/.350/.427 with three homers and 16 RBIs through 34 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season. (Last updated: June 4)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

LHP (left elbow surgery)
Expected return: July
Bubic opted for full ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in April 2023 and has had a smooth recovery so far, targeting the middle of 2024 for a potential return. He began his rehab assignment on May 7, first pitching in the Arizona Complex League, then Double-A Northwest Arkansas before being transferred to Triple-A Omaha on May 27.

On June 19, Bubic allowed one run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings for Omaha, walking two and striking out eight. He needed 93 pitches and is fully built up as a starter, which means the Royals could have him return to their rotation or in the bullpen, depending on their need at the time.

Bubic's rehab was extended another 10 days on June 15, a rule that allows pitchers recovering from Tommy John to spend more than the maximum of 30 days on a rehab assignment if approved by the player and union. They can extend the rehab assignment by 10 days up to three times but must revisit and approve it after each 10-day window. Bubic's rehab assignment has been extended twice now, and it'll be assessed again on June 26. He could pitch out of Kansas City's bullpen or rotation at some point this year, but the team doesn't want to rush him back as he gets more reps. (Last updated: June 20)

LHP (left arm/biceps nerve injury)
Expected return: Second half of the season
Taylor felt soreness when he was warming up for his March 17 Cactus League outing and was shut down afterward with left biceps soreness. The lefty reliever was diagnosed with a musculocutaneous nerve injury, and his timeline to return is unknown, as he'll be shut down from throwing until he regains strength.

Taylor was transferred to the 60-day IL on April 7 to make room for Colin Selby on the 40-man roster. (Last updated: April 7)

RHP (right shoulder surgery)
Expected return
: 2025
The Royals traded for Wright in November in exchange for Jackson Kowar knowing Wright was coming off shoulder surgery after the 2023 season. They made the move thinking ahead a year, foreseeing how Wright, who will be 29 in '25, could help after he led the Majors with 21 wins and posted a 3.19 ERA in '22.

Pitchers who have this procedure typically take a year to return, and Wright is rehabbing in Kansas City with the goal of having a normal, non-rehabbing offseason later this year. Wright was placed on the 60-day IL on Feb. 17 to make room for reliever John Schreiber on the 40-man roster. (Last updated: March 28)

INACTIVE LIST

RHP (personal matter)
Expected return: TBD
The Royals placed Lyles on the inactive list on April 20. The team is not disclosing the reason for Lyles’ absence other than describing it as a “personal matter.” There’s no timeline for his return.

Because of the type of inactive list Lyles was placed on, it opened a 40-man roster spot for the Royals, which they utilized on April 22 by promoting righty reliever Tyler Duffey. (Last updated: April 22)