Three injured Kansas City Royals players move closer to major-league return

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The Kansas City Royals are on the mend. Prior to Wednesday night’s game in Detroit, the club announced three members of their big-league roster were set to begin minor-league rehab assignments, including starting shortstop Adalberto Mondesi.

Right-handed pitchers Kyle Zimmer and Jesse Hahn will begin rehab assignments with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers. Both had been key members of the bullpen this season who were used in “high-leverage situations” by manager Mike Matheny prior to their stints on the injured list.

They’re two of the six pitchers who’ve recorded saves for the Royals this season.

Mondesi, who has not played in a game this season, has been sidelined by a strained right oblique since the end of spring training. He’ll begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Thursday night.

Late last week, the Royals shifted Mondesi’s rehab to its training complex in Arizona. He’d previously been rehabbing in Kansas City, but he did not travel with the team when they played on the road.

Mondesi, who led the majors with 24 stolen bases last season, finished last season with a slash line of .256/.294/.416 along with 11 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 22 RBIs in 59 games during the pandemic-shortened season.

Mondesi bounced back from a dreadful first month of the season and enjoyed an explosive offensive performance in the final 29 games that included a .297/.350/.550 slash line, all six of his home runs, 20 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

Nicky Lopez has served as the primary shortstop in Mondesi’ absence.

Zimmer went on the IL with a left trap strain on May 1. He began his rehab assignment on Wednesday night.

This season, Zimmer had appeared in 11 games and posted a 3.38 ERA with one save, a 0.90 WHIP, 12 strikeouts and five walks in 13 1/3 innings.

Hahn has been on the IL since April 12 with right shoulder impingement syndrome. He’s slated to begin his rehab assignment on Thursday night.

Hahn appeared in five games this season prior to going on the IL. He’d registered a 13.50 ERA and a 2.70 WHIP. He’d allowed five runs on five hits (two home runs) in 3 1/3 innings. He’d given up just one run in his first three appearances (2 1/3 innings). He gave up four runs and blew two saves in his last two outings before being shut down.

It’s not clear how long any of the rehab assignments will last. The Royals have not announced a time frame for any of the three to return to the major-league team.

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