DAVE SKRETTA,AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals made their second move in less than a week to shore up their ailing infield. Now, it’s up to Emilio Bonifacio to prove he can handle the job.
The Royals acquired the versatile Bonifacio from the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday for cash or a player to be named. He’ll join infielder Jamey Carroll, acquired Sunday from the Twins in a similar deal, in trying to keep the banged-up Royals in playoff contention.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas remained sidelined by a strained left calf for Wednesday’s game against the Marlins. Fellow infielder Miguel Tejada, who had been playing regularly at second and third base, went on the disabled list Sunday with a strained right calf.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain is also on the DL after straining his left oblique last Friday.
“We don’t think Moose is going to be out a long time,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, “but with Miggy being out, Moose being out, Cain being out, we’ve got another guy to play the outfield if we need it, another guy that can play anywhere in the infield.”
Tejada was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear space on the 40-man roster for Bonifacio, who will likely join the Royals for the opener of their five-game set Thursday in Detroit.
The Royals will have to make a move to their 25-man roster at that time.
Bonifacio, whose younger brother Jorge is in the Royals’ minor league system, was traded to the Blue Jays from the Marlins last offseason. He was hitting just .218 with three homers and 12 stolen bases, but is valuable given his ability to play the infield and outfield.
“I think we expected him to be a better player, a better player overall,” Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous said. “I think there’s no doubt about that, we thought we’d get more out of him offensively, defensively, all of it. That didn’t happen.”
The Royals had streaked into playoff contention for the first time in a decade by ripping off 17 wins in 20 games before two straight losses to the Marlins. That surge had energized a fan base that’s grown weary of losing, and prompted general manager Dayton Moore to start maneuvering his team for a postseason push for the first time in his tenure in Kansas City.
That’s a big reason why he traded for power-hitting outfielder Justin Maxwell at the July 31 trade deadline, and why Moore made the move for Carroll last Sunday. But the trade for Bonifacio is also a reaction to injuries and a perilous lack of quality depth.
Infielders Elliot Johnson and Chris Getz have both struggled to perform.
“I’ve been through this, many, many times. It’s all part of the game,” Yost said of the sudden rash of injuries. “You have to be able to deal with it. You can’t sit back and complain about it, worry about it — ‘Woe is me. Why is this happening?’
“You deal with it and move on,” he added. “We feel like we’ve got enough depth to cover it. None of these injuries are long-term injuries, knock on wood, but just little nicks and dings.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.de