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Royals Lose 1B Pasquantino to Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery


By: Dave Skretta, AP News


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Royals slugger Vinnie Pasquantino has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will undergo season-ending surgery, taking one of the best hitters out of the Kansas City lineup as it strives to turn around a miserable start to the season.

Pasquantino was hitting .247 with nine homers and 26 RBIs though his first 61 games, but he began feeling some discomfort in his shoulder during a game against Baltimore on June 9. He had an MRI exam Monday that revealed the extent of the injury.

“I was hoping for the best but probably more realistic expectations,” said first-year Royals manager Matt Quatraro, whose club went into Wednesday night’s series finale with the Cincinnati Reds with a majors-worst 18-49 record.

“I think moving forward, this is what needs to be done to put him in the best spot to perform and to have him the best for us going forward,” Quatraro said. “I think he intellectually, like, wrapped his head around it, and knows that it’s what’s best for him. But you know, it’s not an easy thing for him to swallow, either. And he’s a competitor.”

Along with infielder Bobby Witt Jr., outfielder MJ Melendez and the versatile Maikel Garcia, Pasquantino is part of a young core that the Royals hope can lift them from the big league basement. But with surgery on the horizon, Pasquantino will be out of the lineup until next spring training, putting even more pressure on the rest of them to perform.

Nick Pratto will handle most of the first base duties in his absence, while infielder Matt Duffy also can play first base. Quatraro even floated — perhaps tongue-in-cheek — the possibility of catcher Salvador Perez playing there, something he’s done 10 times over the course of his 12-year major league career.

In the meantime, Pasquantino plans to be around the club and provide whatever positive vibes he can.

“Everyone knows we’re struggling to win games,” Quatraro said. “And his point is, I want to be out there while we’re struggling that it’s that much sweeter when we get through it together. And that’s the competitor. But I think it’s unavoidable, you know? So he’ll go wrap his head around it. … It’s not something that by any means I expect him to become a coach, but he is someone that people respect for the way he goes about his business, the way he plays the game, the way he competes.”