Omar Infante left yesterday's game after being struck in the face with a fastball by Rays reliever Heath Bell. The scene was fairly gristly to witness, as it was apparent that Infante was bleeding and in a tremendous amount of pain following the incident.
The news in the aftermath, however, may turn out to be the best-case scenario of the situation, given the circumstances. The Royals sent out a press release this morning detailing the injuries Infante sustained, and none will seem to have much prolonged affect:
The Royals will reevaluate Infante's condition on Thursday, and at that time might make a determination as to whether he should be placed on the disabled list. If they choose to do so, there are a couple of options in Omaha that would be the likely starter in the interim.
The first of which is much-maligned second base prospect Johnny Giavotella, who has a vocal minority of support amongst Royals faithful, but has yet to produce at the major league level; through 424 plate appearances, Giavotella has a wRC+ of 65, which is worse than Alcides Escobar (career 70 wRC+).
The other option is former first round pick Christian Colon, who has been starting at second base for a majority of his time in AAA. He hasn't exactly produced in the minor leagues (wRC+ of 90 last season in 577 PAs), but he is said to have a good glove and above-average range for a second baseman. He also has the pedigree of being a first round pick. So, there's that.
Either option is a decided downgrade from Infante, and might be a lateral or zero-sum move over Valencia, presuming his offense outweighs their defensive upgrade.