5/23/2014 9:11 P.M. ET
Infante begins rehab at Omaha
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Royals second baseman Omar Infante began a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A Omaha. Kansas City manager Ned Yost said Infante would DH on Friday and play in the field Saturday.
Infante hasn't played in a game since May 6 because of lower back disc irritation.
"It wasn't swinging that bothered him, it was bending to catch ground balls," Yost said. "We'll go day to day with him, as we always do. But he's feeling much better."
Infante and third baseman Mike Moustakas, who was sent down to regroup on Thursday, each went 0-for-4 in Omaha's 3-2 victory on Friday night.
Teammates confident Moustakas will be back
ANAHEIM -- The Royals arrived in Anaheim on Friday to start a three-game series without lefty-swinging power man Mike Moustakas, a Southern California native who was in his fourth season as their third baseman before his ongoing slump sent him to Triple-A Omaha.
His teammates said they know he'll be back. And, they don't think it will take long.
"The main thing is, he had the right attitude about it," first baseman Eric Hosmer said of the move. "He understood and agreed with it. We all have confidence in him. In the long run, it's the best thing for him, and for the team."
Moustakas hit .152 in 40 games, with four home runs and 17 RBIs, before he was told of the demotion after Wednesday's game. It wasn't announced until Thursday, an off-day.
"It's a tough situation." Royals right-hander James Shields said. "It's hard to struggle. It's hard to get out of your funk.
"But he's the kind of player who will take it well, try to get better and get back here. He definitely wants to get better: Every day, he's the first one in the cage, the first one on the field."
Hosmer, who predicted his friend Moustakas might get his game back together as quickly as in two weeks, added: "We need him out there for us to succeed, to be what we want to be, a team fighting for a playoff spot in September. He's a big part of the lineup.
"It's a time for him to get back on track, in a less-stressful situation, and clear his head mentally."
Manager Ned Yost said, "It's a tough move, but it's not a tough move. It was getting to the point it was time for him to do down.
"He's got to the point where his confidence was as low as I've seen him. So we put him back where he can catch his breath. Hopefully, he can get it going down there and feel good about himself again, and get back here."
Danny Valencia, who had been platooning with Moustakas at third base, starting against left-handers, will get an extended trial on an everyday basis.
Maxwell accepts assignment to Triple-A
ANAHEIM -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell, designated for assignment by the Royals on May 16, cleared waivers Friday and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha.
"He gives us some depth," GM Dayton Moore said. "He just needs to get some consistent at-bats and once he does that, there's certainly a good opportunity for him to contribute to our success this year. He just needs to play."
Maxwell, 29, hit .138 in 16 games for the Royals this season. He was acquired from the Astros in a Trade Deadline deal last season, and hit .241 in 40 games since.
• Former Royals slugger Mike Sweeney will be the club's representative in the sixth Baseball Hall of Fame Classic on Saturday at Cooperstown, N.Y. The 16-year Major Leaguer, who began his career in Kansas City and played 13 years there, was a five-time All-Star. Sweeney is a special assistant to baseball operations for the Royals. Six Hall of Famers and 30 recently retired big leaguers will play in the game.
• Catcher Salvador Perez (sore right hand) was held out of the lineup again, as Brett Hayes made his fourth consecutive start. Perez was scheduled to take two rounds of batting practice but is day to day, according to Yost.
"It's still a little swollen," Yost said. "He's been swinging off a tee and in the cage, and the pain level has gone from a nine to a three."
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.