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Sore right shoulder forces Crisp to DL

Sore shoulder forces Crisp to DL

KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Coco Crisp's continuing battle with a sore right shoulder finally put him on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.

The Royals placed Crisp on the list retroactive to Saturday because of a right rotator cuff strain. His spot on the roster was taken by infielder Tug Hulett, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

Crisp has been in and out of the lineup since May 26, when he was removed during a game because of shoulder soreness. It has been particularly affecting his swing from the left side of the plate and his ability to throw.

Manager Trey Hillman was hoping the shoulder would heal during a six-game hiatus during which Crisp missed four games because of the shoulder and two more to attend his great grandmother's funeral. Since rejoining the team against Tampa Bay on June 4, he had played in five of nine games.

"We've tried it three [days], we've tried it four, we've tried it six and it wasn't enough rest to let the irritation and the inflammation settle down in that right shoulder," Hillman said. "Through compensating for it and trying to fight through it, we've got to give it the rest that it needs."

Mitch Maier, a left-handed batter, is expected to get most of the playing time in center field. He is batting .224 in 40 games. Willie Bloomquist also could see outfield duty.

Crisp is batting .228, but had proven especially adept at drawing bases on balls -- he has 29 walks for a .336 on-base percentage. Batting in the leadoff spot in 47 of his 49 games, Crisp leads the Royals with 30 runs scored and 13 stolen bases, with five triples.

This is Hulett's second stint with the Royals. He was with them for 10 days from May 24-June 4 and went 0-for-4.

Hulett, son of former Major League infielder Tim Hulett, was hitting .307 with four homers and 34 RBIs in 46 games for Omaha.

In other injury news, catcher John Buck (herniated disc in lower back) played catch on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium and is continuing indoor exercises and water therapy. Third baseman Alex Gordon (hip surgery) is in Arizona taking light batting practice and fielding ground balls on a limited basis and is making progress. Pitcher Sidney Ponson (right elbow strain) had a second "good" bullpen session on Sunday, Hillman reported.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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