Cain swapped roster places with outfielder Jason Bourgeois, who was optioned to Omaha. Acquired with catcher Humberto Quintero in a trade with the Astros, Bourgeois appeared in seven games for Kansas City and hit .214 (3-for-14) with a double. He was 1-for-3 in stolen-base attempts.
The Royals had expected to have center fielder Lorenzo Cain back for Friday night's game after recovering from a left groin strain during a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. However, that plan ended when Cain, while running after a fly ball, suffered a left hip flexor strain, which is likely to keep him out another four to six weeks. He's back in Kansas City undergoing treatment.
"We want Dyson to play, it's as simple as that," manager Ned Yost said. "We were holding out with a platoon of [Mitch] Maier and Bourgeois until Cain came back. We were expecting Cain back today [but] Cain's going to be out for an extended amount of time so we want to look at Dyson, we want to give him a shot."
Yost said that Dyson won't always be in the leadoff spot. He plans to use Chris Getz there when he plays second base with Dyson batting ninth.
After Cain's original injury, Dyson was recalled for a brief stay and started two games in center field, going 2-for-8 with a double and a couple of outfield glitches. He was sent back to Omaha when pitcher Louis Coleman was called up on April 14 and struggled in his first five games, going 2-for-17.
"I had a few bad games when I first got sent back down," Dyson said. "I picked it back up when we got home and, for the most part, I feel like I've been doing OK."
In his last three games, against Nashville at Omaha, Dyson was 7-for-13.
"Getting sent down is not good for anybody," he said. "I guess I had to get my mind right and stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to playing ball."
In 15 games for Omaha, Dyson had a .333 average with three triples, three doubles and seven steals in eight attempts. Now he's determined to show everybody he deserves to be in the Majors.
"It's gonna be exciting to see," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.