(Eds: With AP Photos.)
Associated Press
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - One label an athlete never wants is ''injury prone.''
Lorenzo Cain has been pigeonholed with that marker ever since arriving in Kansas City.
The speedy outfielder has been limited the past two seasons by various injuries, most of them sustained while making spectacular catches against the outfield wall. But if Kansas City is to make a push for its first playoff appearance since 1985, Cain will almost certainly need to prove he's capable of playing nearly every day this season.
''I don't think I'm injury prone,'' Cain said shortly after the Royals began full-squad workouts at spring training. ''I've had injuries by playing hard. All the injuries I've had is making plays against the wall, doing that type of thing. If people want to call me injury prone because I'm out there playing hard, giving 100 percent, then let it be. I guess they'd rather I pull up and not try to catch the ball.''
Cain's first significant injury came while making an astounding catch in the fifth game of the 2012 season in Oakland. He pulled his groin and tore his left hip flexor, missing 78 games. He came back only to pull his right hamstring in September, ending his season.
Last year, Cain played only 35 games after the All-Star break because of a left oblique he tore in a game against Boston in August. He didn't return until September.
Safe to say, Cain's goal of playing in all 162 games this season is an ambitious one.
''That would be amazing,'' he said. ''That's what I'm definitely striving for. I trained hard this offseason. I stretched every part of my body as much as I can.''
That's especially good news to manager Ned Yost, who has been faced with carrying an extra outfielder the last few years to help fill in when Cain has been hurt.
''He's in a real good spot,'' Yost said. ''He's as flexible as he's ever been. He's as strong as he's ever been. Tight body guys tend to suffer more, especially when they're athletic.''
Cain is no doubt athletic. His daring approach to the outfield nearly nabbed him a Gold Glove - he finished second to Baltimore's Adam Jones last year - and allowed him to save 17 runs, tops among American League center fielders, according to The Fielding Bible. He only committed one error in 92 games in center field.
Even more impressive was that his offense matched his defense for the first two months of the season. He was hitting .309 on May 24 before hitting .216 the rest of the way.
''I started off hot, but definitely cooled off. I wasn't as consistent as I wanted to be,'' said Cain, who's been working with hitting coach Pedro Grifol for a more reliable swing.
''That's been my main focus,'' Cain said, ''to play the same defense I played last year and be consistent on the offense.''
He'll also need to stay on the field.

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages