Kansas City, Mo. — Royals outfielder Alex Gordon passed a battery of concussion tests and was cleared by the team’s medical staff to take batting practice before Friday night’s game against Oakland.
The team was still awaiting word from Major League Baseball’s independent physician on whether Gordon would be cleared to play, but it’s possible he could be back this weekend.
“I’m following all the rules and they’ve cleared me to go, so I’m just going to get back in action and get things going,” Gordon said before stretching, throwing and then taking his normal turn in the cage during batting practice.
Gordon was tracking a fly ball on Wednesday night against Cleveland when he ran into the fencing of the Royals bullpen. He landed hard on the warning track dirt and was motionless for several minutes, and the team was concerned he had a concussion.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he wasn’t an option as a pinch hitter Friday night. David Lough got the start in left field for the second straight game.
“He’s passed all of our tests, for us. Now we have to submit the paperwork to MLB so they can clear him,” Yost said. “Once you submit it to MLB, they’ll get an impartial doctor to look at it and sign off. That could be as early as today, as late as tomorrow.”
Perhaps more significant now is Gordon is still sporting a bruise on his “derriere.”
After he was helped off the field Wednesday night, Gordon said his rump was causing him more pain than his head. He did some light jogging in the outfield Friday before taking BP.
“Just trying to get the hip or the butt, get it healthy and back to normal,” Gordon said. “It’s not my hip, it’s the rear-end part. It’s a pretty bad bruise.”
Still, there’s a chance Gordon could be back this weekend.
“Every guy in here wants to play every day,” he said, “so that’s kind of how I feel.”
Also Friday, the Royals announced they requested unconditional release waivers on outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who was designated for assignment June 30. Francoeur hit .208 with three homers and 13 RBIs for the Royals this season.
Left-hander Francisley Bueno, who was designated for assignment on June 25, accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha. He hasn’t pitched for the Royals this season.
Kansas City also had 16-year-old Italian shortstop Marten Gasparini taking grounders on the field before the game. The team is awaiting some results from Gasparini’s physical before it can finalize a contract with the teenager.
Several scouts have called Gasparini the top prospect Europe has ever produced.