Mondesi to IL for 3rd time; O’Hearn called up

KANSAS CITY — For the third time this season, Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi has been placed on the 10-day injured list. The 25-year-old has a left oblique strain that took him out of Sunday’s series finale against the Red Sox, and it was severe enough that Kansas City made the roster move on Monday’s off-day, calling up infielder/outfielder Ryan O’Hearn to fortify its bench.

“He’s just devastated,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore told reporters at an event Monday morning. “We just feel so bad for him. We’re obviously a much different team when he’s on the field.”

Mondesi has played in just 10 games this season, hitting .361 with four home runs. He began the season on the IL with a right oblique strain, missing a month and a half after sustaining the injury in his final at-bat of Spring Training. After seven games in the Royals’ lineup at the end of May, Mondesi again hit the IL with a left hamstring strain. He came back last week and crushed a homer in his first at-bat back in the lineup, signaling his return and what a force he can be when he’s playing.

Over the weekend against the Red Sox, he launched a 464-foot home run on Friday, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored on Sunday and flashed his defensive skills at his premium position when he fielded a slow short-hopper in the middle of the infield and fired it to first base for the out.

But he was removed with left side discomfort in the seventh inning, and after evaluations on Sunday night and Monday morning, the Royals determined that Mondesi would once again need to miss time.

The 25-year-old has had a history full of injuries, but none like what he’s seen in 2021. In the past he’s had right shoulder impingement syndrome (’18), a groin strain (’19) and a left shoulder subluxation (’19) that led to surgery. He was finally healthy for the pandemic-shortened season in ’20 and went into the offseason healthy, but he had a slight delay to Spring Training when he was hit in the foot during live batting practice right before reporting to camp. Then the injuries began to hit when the regular season began.

O’Hearn has been mashing at Triple-A Omaha, hitting .375 with a 1.382 OPS in 19 games. He’s hit 12 home runs and driven in 25 with 15 strikeouts in 72 at-bats. O’Hearn has shown this power before, but he has struggled to see it translate to the big leagues when he gets the opportunity. Now he’ll get another one, giving the Royals an additional left-handed hitter in their lineup and off the bench.