KANSAS CITY -- This is the point in the season where aspiring players can make a good impression for 2013. Which is why Royals outfielders Jarrod Dyson and David Lough do not want to be spending time in the training room. But they are.
Dyson, hampered by a strained lat muscle beneath his right shoulder, is the most serious case. He's likely to be limited to pinch-running duty for the rest of the season.
"I'm kind of frustrated about that, but I've got to stay positive in the head and hope to overcome this little bump in the road," Dyson said. "It's just frustrating, because it seems like every time I get a chance to play every day or whatever, something happens. Like in Baltimore, I was going good and messed my ankle up on one swing and it took me out for a couple days."
That injury came as Dyson was on an eight-game hitting streak in which he was 14-for-27 (.515) and had stolen five bases. He actually sat out four games and has played intermittently since. Dyson's lat strain probably occurred when he collided with the center-field wall in Boston on Aug. 27.
"We've got David Lough filling in, and I think he's going to do a great job," Dyson said. "He's kind of down, but I don't think he's going to be down for long."
Ironically, Dyson pinch-ran for Lough in Wednesday night's 7-6 loss to the Rangers and scored the Royals' last run. Lough came out after sustaining a mild right hamstring strain while beating a double-play throw to first base.
"I can pinch-hit [Thursday] if I need to," Lough said.
Lough, out of the starting lineup on Thursday night, is expected to be ready to play this weekend in Chicago, but he's a left-handed batter and the White Sox are expected to start three left-handed pitchers.
"That'll give Lough a chance to really recuperate," said Royals manager Ned Yost, who has right-handed batters in Lorenzo Cain and Jeff Francoeur available for the outfield.
Dyson is able to swing the bat a bit, but doesn't throw, and says the area around his throwing shoulder is feeling better each day.
"For the most part, I don't think it's serious so I'll be ready, if not for this year, the beginning of 2013," he said.