Kansas City Royals place Adalberto Mondesi (oblique) on IL

Mar 24, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi against the Los Angeles Angels during a Spring Training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals placed shortstop Adalberto Mondesi on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain on Wednesday, one day before the season opener against the Texas Rangers.

The move is retroactive to March 30.

Kansas City recalled infielder Nicky Lopez from the alternate training site in Arkansas to fill the roster opening.

The 25-year-old Mondesi has a .251 career average and 113 stolen bases in 308 games over the past five seasons. He has 32 homers and 137 RBIs.

Last season, Mondesi led the majors with 24 steals in the shortened season. He batted .256 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 59 games.

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Mondesi stole a career-best 43 bases in 2019 and had 32 thefts in 2018.

Lopez was expected to be Kansas City’s starting second baseman but he was demoted after batting just .118 with 13 strikeouts in 34 spring at-bats.

The 26-year-old Lopez batted .201 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 56 games last season. He has a .228 average in 548 at-bats in 159 major league games.

Standout right fielder Whit Merrifield will move to second base and start the opener.

The Royals haven’t announced a starter at shortstop but Hanser Alberto won the backup middle infielder job by batting .355 in 31 spring at-bats.

–Field Level Media