The Kansas City Royals have placed outfielder Lorenzo Cain on the 15-day disabled list, as he deals with a groin strain, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Cain's injury does not appear to be severe, and he could be back in the Royals' lineup in two weeks, once eligible to come off the DL, though he prefers "not to rush it."
Cain's injury was sustained during last night's 6-4 extra-innings win over the Astros, as the Royals improved to 6-7 on the season.
The 28-year-old center fielder has a long history of past injuries, including a prior groin strain suffered in 2012 that cost him 79 games. Prior to his injury, Cain was hitting a solid .333/.364/.381 for a 112 OPS+ and 115 wRC+. Cain has been worth at least 2.0 WAR in three of the past four seasons (including 3.1 last season), mostly due to his stellar defense up the middle. Fangraphs estimates that he saved 24 runs with his glove last season, which ranked fourth among all outfielders. He has already saved three this season.
The Royals will start Jarrod Dyson in Cain's place Thursday night. Dyson and fellow outfielder Justin Maxwell should see plenty of playing time in Cain's absence. Right fielder Nori Aoki could also see time in center.
To replace Cain on the 25-man roster, the Royals called up 26-year-old left-hander Justin Marks, a former third round pick of the Oakland Athletics. Marks provides another lefty option out of the bullpen, but will also serve as insurance in case Bruce Chen fails to make his start on Saturday due to tightness in his left glute. Marks has a 3.24 ERA in just over eight innings pitched this season at Triple-A Omaha.
Marks' addition means the Royals are currently carrying 13 pitchers on their active roster. McCullough says that the team plans to make an additional roster move on Friday to add a position player.