Lorenzo Cain injury: Royals place centerfielder on the 15-day DL with groin strain

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So who's going to pinch run for Butler now?!?!?

If you follow Andy McCullough on Twitter, you've probably heard that Lorenzo Cain is headed for the 15-day disabled list.

You also might have read this on one of several other "digital websites" on the "Internet."

Cain is injury prone. There's no real way around it. It'd be nice if he wasn't, but he is. Jarrod Dyson gives the team a pretty solid fallback option in center. Dyson was nearly as good as Cain in the field last season if you give any credence to advanced fielding metrics.

In about 570 innings, Dyson put up a UZR/150 of 25.0 and saved 6 runs according to the Fielding Bible's DRS metric. Cain saved 17 runs and posted a 23.9 UZR/150 in about 760 innings in center. However, if you include the time he spent in right field, he saved 24 and had a UZR/150 of 29.2.

Those are pretty small sample sizes, and UZR fluctuates drastically from year to year, but it's still encouraging when faced with at least 15 days of Cainlessness. Dyson has also been slightly better at getting on base recently, and everyone knows about his speed and corresponding catchphrase.

There's been a lot of talk about the Royals' lack of position player depth this season, and rightfully so, but center field is one position at which they had something of a backup plan in place. If Dyson gets injured, Justin Maxwell could step in. He's been a useful centerfielder in the past, but he doesn't provide Ned with the same kind of bench versatility as Dyson does/did.

Cain is dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain -- which is the best kind you can have, it's not like DEFCON where the numbers get more frightening as they get smaller. This shouldn't keep him out for an extended period of time, but something else might.

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