The Royals have activated infielder Hunter Dozier from the 10-day injured list and have optioned outfielder Jorge Bonifacio to Triple-A Omaha. Dozier has been out since May 30 with a muscle tightness in his chest. He began a rehab assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas before returning home this week for the birth of his second child. Dozier was hitting .314/.398/.589 with 11 home runs in 52 games this year.
Bonifacio was called up a week ago to provide some outfield depth and appeared in five games, hitting .350/.381/.500 with three doubles. The move leaves the Royals with Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Whit Merrifield, Terrance Gore, and Jorge Soler in the outfield. Dozier should slide back to his third base role, although he could see more time at first base now with Cheslor Cuthbert up with the team and Ryan O’Hearn having been demoted to Omaha last week. Cuthbert gets to stay with the team mostly because he is out of options, while Bonifacio has an option year remaining.
The Royals’ offense badly needs Dozier’s bat back in the lineup, as they are averaging just 3.5 runs-per-game since he went out of action, compared to 4.5 runs-per-game when he was on the roster.