Infante progressing, but return date in question

Infante progressing, but return date in question

KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Omar Infante is making progress with his back ailment, but there's still no indication of whether he can come off the Royals' disabled list when he is eligible on Thursday's off-day.

"He was feeling much better yesterday," manager Ned Yost said. "He took 30 swings off a tee, 30 swings soft toss, and they rolled him some balls and he bent over and felt pretty good."

Pedro Ciriaco got his first start this season on Sunday, taking over for Johnny Giavotella at second base.

"I'm trying to keep everybody involved," Yost said. "We're defensing late to keep guys in the game. I'm trying to stay away from guys sitting on the bench for weeks at a time."

He's been keeping outfielder Jarrod Dyson and third baseman Danny Valencia in the lineup as well, when possible.

Valencia has been facing left-handed pitchers in place of Mike Moustakas, and Dyson has been a late-inning center fielder. The usual move is for Lorenzo Cain to shift from center to right with Nori Aoki leaving the game.

"Dyson's more comfortable in center. Lo can play anywhere," Yost said. "Lorenzo's played a lot of right and center, and Dyson's played center his whole career, so you maximize your defense that way."

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