Royals fans hoping for a quick promotion for prospect Wil Myers will have to wait a bit longer.
Perhaps quite a bit longer.
The Royals activated center fielder Lorenzo Cain on Monday, along with second baseman Chris Getz, and shipped out Irving Falu and right-hander Nate Adcock to Triple-A Omaha.
What that means is that Cain will take over the job in center field, and be occasionally spelled by Jarrod Dyson.
What it also means is that Wil Myers will continue to continue to bide his time in Omaha.
“Right now, we’d be looking at splitting the time between Lorenzo and Jarrod,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday prior to the Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium.
“I’d like to give Lorenzo a shot at playing four or five days a week, and then Jarrod two days or so. We want to do that until Lorenzo gets all of his strength back.”
Royals fans have not seen Cain play at Kauffman Stadium all season. He injured his groin in the Royals’ fifth game of the season at Oakland. Since then, Cain has suffered several setbacks to his left leg while on rehab assignments in the minors.
But Cain is finally healthy again and likely will start Friday night against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
“I’m anxious to see him play again,” Yost said. “It seems like a long, long time. We went a long time without (catcher) Salvy (Perez) and Lorenzo. It will be great to finally get them both back.”
Cain made significant progress in the last week, playing virtually every day for Omaha. He hit .355 in seven games there with one homer and six RBIs.
But Cain almost surely will need to make a strong impression in his comeback if he is to retain his job and hold back Myers.
Myers has been making a strong push to be promoted, leading all minor-league hitters with 27 home runs this season. Myers also made a mini-statement on Sunday, collecting two hits and three RBIs for the U.S. Team in the All-Star Future’s Game at Kauffman Stadium.
A crowd of over 40,000 — mostly Royals fans — gave Myers a standing ovation on Sunday. Royals fans have been clamoring for his call-up to Kansas City for weeks.
“I’m anxious to get to Kansas City, too,” Myers said after the game. “But it’s not up to me and I’ll just have to wait for my time to come.”
Myers said although he would prefer to play center field, he would be comfortable playing right field as well.
The problem there, of course, is that space is occupied by Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur is having a poor season, hitting just .251 with seven homers. He also has only 25 RBIs, despite hitting in the middle of the order most of the season.
In addition, Francoeur has walked only 15 times this season, and has the worst on-base percentage (.289) of the Royals starters.
But while it may seem logical to fans to simply bench Francoeur and promote Myers, the Royals are unlikely to sit a player such as Francoeur who is making $6.75 million this season.
Francoeur also is scheduled to make $6.75 million in 2013, perhaps making him tough to trade. Few teams would want to commit to that contract especially for a player as inconsistent as Francoeur.