Why KC Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino doesn’t blame Byron Buxton for injury

Kansas City Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino avoided a potentially major injury this week against the Minnesota Twins.

Pasquantino exited Tuesday evening’s game at Target Field in Minneapolis with a lower left-leg contusion. X-rays were negative (good news) and he’s considered day-to-day as he recovers.

On Wednesday, before the next game of the Royals’ road series against the Twins, Pasquantino said he was feeling better.

“I’m available tonight and available tomorrow,” he said. “I’m hoping to be in there tomorrow.”

The injury occurred in the third inning of Tuesday’s game when Twins star Byron Buxton bumped Pasquantino en route to first base. Buxton’s foot landed inside the first-base line as he tried to reach the bag.

Royals fans were furious after the play and expressed their frustrations on social media.

Pasquantino, however, denied that Buxton is a dirty player.

“First off, Byron is a good dude,” Pasquantino said. “I have played against him for a while, not a crazy long time, but enough to get to know him a little bit. He’s not a dirty player by any means. So I know for a fact that is not something he is trying to do by any means.”

Replays showed Buxton’s knee collided with Pasquantino’s left leg as he stretched to beat an incoming throw from Royals third baseman Maikel Garcia.

Pasquantino said he has watched the play a couple of times. His takeaway: It was a tough situation for all parties involved.

“The guy wasn’t over the base, by any means,” Pasquantino said. “He’s digging and he’s trying to get just (to the base).

“It’s unfortunate that it happened, and I’m sure he would say the same thing. I hope we are not in that situation again, for him and for me, because he got hit, as well.”

After the play, Buxton embraced Pasquantino. And he went up and tapped Pasquantino on the shoulder as the Royals first baseman left the game.

The Royals shifted team captain Salvador Perez to first base after the fateful play. Nick Loftin got the start at first on Wednesday.

As he suggested, Pasquantino could be utilized off the bench until he resumes his starting role. He said he regained feeling in his leg after the contact, which occurred near the nerve in his shin and calf area.

“He just has to work out some of the soreness, but it’s not a long-term thing,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said.

Pasquantino said he had received treatment for the injury over the last 24 hours. That helped him regain feeling in his left leg.

“It was different things to try to wake it up,” he said. “I think we’ve done a really good job of it (treatment).”

Pasquantino indicated the whole situation was somewhat strange, especially now, with larger bases implemented in the majors.

He was just grateful that he didn’t sustain a major injury in the mishap.

“It was just kind of weird,” he said. “That’s just kind of how it is.

“It’s an uncomfortable play. I’m not expecting to get hit there. And to get hit there, losing feeling, is a little bit strange. But (the feeling) has come back, so I feel pretty good today.”