JASON BROWN: Royals need Mondesi healthy for hopes of competing

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times
Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (27) celebrates after hitting a ground rule double against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. Mondesi later left the game with discomfort in his side.

I am starting to lose patience with Adalberto Mondesi and I feel bad because it isn’t his fault. The 25-year-old middle infielder for the Kansas City Royals suffered his third injury of the 2021 season Sunday in a 7-3 win against the Boston Red Sox. 

Having played in just nine games to this point in the season, Mondesi proved that he is likely the best offensive threat the club has. He notched hits in seven of those games and had bounced a ball over the wall for a ground-rule double prior to exiting Sunday due to discomfort in his side. On the surface, the culprit appears to be his left oblique after an injury to his right side forced him to miss the first 45 games of the season and will now miss more after heading to the 10-day injured list. 

Jason Brown

It’s tough news for the budding star that had hit two home runs in the three games he returned for after hurting his hamstring toward the end of May.

To me, it was pretty clear the Royals had made a mistake in bringing Mondesi to the majors too quickly. He made his debut in the 2015 World Series which never made sense at the time and still doesn’t. The following season, he was in Double-A before being suspended for 50 games for taking an illegal substance – albeit the substance was ingested through cold medicine. He spent the majority of the following three seasons in the minor leagues with late-season call ups giving him opportunities to improve. Since he joined the team in 2018 on a full-time basis he has been placed on the injured list in all but the shortened 2020 season – where he played 59 of 60 games. 

Is it bad luck that is responsible for Mondesi’s injury history?

Most likely. There really isn’t another way to explain what has happened throughout his career. I’ve seen opinions across social media that he simply isn’t playing through discomfort and imply that he is soft. I have no reason to think that is even remotely true because I don’t think any of the injuries he has suffered are worth playing through when he has the rest of his life – not just career – to think about. Playing through injuries could lead to bigger and more detrimental ailments to the body so nobody should expect any athlete to play through pain. 

It is extremely disappointing to see Mondesi’s tough streak of injuries continue – especially when he has made such a strong impact in his nine games this season. On the other side, the Royals can’t afford to see one of their most promising players on the injured list for the third time this season. It’s a tough situation for both sides and a resolution needs to come soon to salvage this season. 

Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at jbrown@leavenworthtimes.com