Hello and welcome to another season of, “The Royals chasing wins even when it puts important players at risk of serious injury!”
Last year we saw the Royals play Hunter Dozier and Carlos Santana every day despite both players being awful. Later we discovered that they were both playing hurt for extended lengths of time. It boggles the mind, but we learned for sure then that the Royals were willing to encourage guys to step on the field every day when the wins were meaningless and when the players themselves were clearly not capable of performing to the standards they themselves had previously set.
They followed up that performance with some extremely questionable work around Salvador Perez’s injury this season. Sure, he’s hitting as well as ever since his return, but it doesn’t seem physically possible for him to actually be healed and you have to wonder what kind of permanent damage the Royals are courting by allowing him back in the lineup.
Now, today, Bobby Witt Jr. - the team’s best and brightest hope for a true superstar - returns to shortstop less than two weeks after injuring his hamstring. He never went on the IL, he was back in the lineup a week later. Sure, maybe it really was that minor of an injury. But why take a chance? And what slack have the Royals earned on the topic of playing injured players?
Anyway, the team is going to play a game too. Daniel Lynch will take the mound. He pitched 5.1 shutout innings in his last appearance. The Royals would sure love to see some more of that. The Red Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi. After an all-star campaign that also saw him receive Cy Young and MVP votes last season, Eovaldi has taken a step backward this year. He’s also dealt with injury in his age-32 season. He seemed to be putting things together before missing most of June. He’s been pretty awful since his return in late July with an ERA over 7, even after allowing no earned runs in his latest start.