The Kansas City Royals announced yesterday that Vinnie Pasquantino will undergo surgery after he was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Pasquantino is expected to miss the remainder of the 2023 season.
The first baseman has been sidelined by the injury since June 10th after leaving the game against the Baltimore Orioles last Friday. He was waiting for results from a recent MRI, and the news isn’t what Royals fans or Pasquantino probably wanted to hear. Pasquantino dealt with a similar shoulder injury in the past, missing three weeks in 2022.
Pasquantino had been hitting right in the heart of the Royals lineup all year and is one of the most talented Royals hitters. He was off to a great start offensively in April, producing a 137 wRC+ and slashing .279/.375/.500 with a .875 OPS.
After the first week of May, Pasquantino really struggled to pull things together, and you have to wonder if it was related to the injury. Despite his struggles, he still remained one of the best hitters in the lineup, and due to the lack of offense from the team in general, the Royals were relying on the young 25-year-old to carry a lot of the weight.
The 2023 season has been a hard one for the Kansas City Royals and their fans. The injury to Pasquantino comes on the heels of the Royals falling behind the Oakland A’s for the worst record in baseball. It is tough news for a team that is in the sixth year of a rebuild and hasn’t taken many positive steps forward throughout the past couple of seasons. An already struggling offense will be looking to fill a major void in the heart of the lineup.
Finding a first base replacement will be tough. According to Royals broadcaster Joel Goldberg, Nick Pratto is expected to get the bulk of the time at first base. Pratto has been known for his Gold Glove-caliber defense at first and has been another offensive bright spot in the Royals lineup. The 24-year-old will have the opportunity to get more reps at his natural position.
Goldberg also noted that Salvador Perez has already been taking grounders at first, and Matt Duffy provides the team with depth at the position as well.
On top of his performance on the field, losing Pasquantino in the clubhouse is tough, as he has been one of the best personalities in the locker room. He is always a guy his fellow players can go to and lean on even if there don’t seem to be many positives in the season going on around them.
The positive news is that Pasquantino can now take the time to fully recover and focus on getting healthy for the 2024 season. He is expected to be fully ready to come back for spring training next year.
Pasquantino still remains a potential foundation piece for whenever the Royals might become a contender. When that might be is a tough question to answer. They will continue to focus on developing their young players this season, and they will turn to the trade deadline to move some of their veteran pieces for more potential building blocks.
It has been a rough year for the Kansas City Royals and Royals fans alike, but hopefully, the coming months will see some positive developments from other younger players, the upcoming MLB Draft, and the trade deadline. Hopefully, some more positive vibes are coming the Royals’ way.