SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Kansas City Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson is expected to miss the start of the season after straining his oblique while batting during the World Series champions' spring training opener.
Dyson was removed from Wednesday's game against Texas and taken for an MRI that revealed the Grade 2 strain. That type of injury typically takes about six weeks to heal, and manager Ned Yost said Thursday that Dyson will likely begin the season on the disabled list.
''It really affects everything he does: running, fielding, throwing hitting,'' Yost said. ''We have to get that inflammation out of there, seven to 10 days of no activity. Then build him up on a progression.''
The speedy Dyson was expected to platoon with Paulo Orlando in right field.
''I just got to think positive,'' Dyson said. ''I can't stay mad about what happened. Just get over it, rehab and try to get out there as soon as possible.''
Dyson was a 50th-round draft pick by the Royals out of Southwest Mississippi Community College who got by thanks to his work on the base paths. But over time, he developed into a decent hitter - he batted .250 in 90 games a year ago - and above-average defensive player who fit well into the Kansas City lineup.
That development is why the Royals planned to give Dyson an opportunity to be the everyday right fielder for the first time, rather than a sign a free-agent replacement for the departed Alex Rios.
''You feel bad because the first game he pulls the oblique,'' Orlando said. ''I talked to him two days ago and in BP he said he felt sore a little bit. I understood. You're starting to work hard every day. But hopefully he comes back and comes back soon.''
Dyson plans to do his rehab work at the spring training complex, which means his infectious enthusiasm will still around the clubhouse. But in the meantime, Orlando will get a whole lot more playing time.
''Paulo is probably the front-runner for that job now,'' Yost said. ''We've got other guys that we're going to look at. We're going to look at them extensively. They're all going to play.''
There are only a few position battles in spring training for the Royals - the second base competition between Omar Infante and Christian Colon, the timeshare in right field and the last couple of spots in the starting rotation and bullpen.
The injury to Dyson only makes right field more intriguing.
The equally speedy Orlando blossomed last year into a key part of the Royals' World Series run. But he's still a relatively raw player in his own right, hitting just .249 with seven homers in 86 games last year, and he struggled mightily against right-handed pitcher - a big reason for the platoon with Dyson.
So the Royals plan to give veteran Travis Snider, hot prospects Brett Eibner and Bubba Starling and fellow outfielders Reymond Fuentes and Jose Martinez an opportunity to make an impression.
Snider has played parts of eight seasons with three different clubs, while Eibner and Starling are thought to be cornerstones of the future. Fuentes and Martinez are interesting wild cards.
''We'll see how it all plays out,'' Yost said.