KANSAS CITY -- Infielder Elliot Johnson was released by the Royals on Monday.
Johnson played in 79 games with a .179 average, two home runs, nine RBIs and 14 stolen bases. He came to Kansas City as the player to be named in the big offseason deal that also brought pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis from Tampa Bay.
Johnson was designated for assignment last Thursday.
The Royals had indicated that if Johnson cleared waivers, as he did, that he might be offered a spot with Triple-A Omaha. However, they have bolstered their infield options with the acquisitions of Jamey Carroll from the Twins and Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays.
Moustakas to return to action Wednesday
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has been battling a left calf strain, will return to the Royals' starting lineup on Wednesday against the White Sox. Moustakas was injured running the bases on Aug. 12 and has played just one game since.
Manager Ned Yost said that Moustakas would have been available Tuesday, but he elected to start Jamey Carroll in his place and lead off against left-hander John Danks.
"He's getting better," Yost said of Moustakas. "Right now, we're just trying to get that leg healed. We're facing tough lefties and thought we'd give him an opportunity to heal up and have him available to come into the game late or pinch-hit."
Moustakas is batting .306 (26-for-85) since the All-Star break with 13 RBIs. He'd hit just .215 previously.
"He's a valuable part of this team and he's been swinging the bat well," Yost said. "This leg injury affects him in his speed a little bit. It doesn't really affect him at third, but we want to get him healed, so we're trying to take every opportunity to give him every break we possibly can and use him against right-handed pitching right now."
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is eligible to come off the disabled list in five days, but said he has no real timeline at this point. Cain was placed on the DL on Aug. 10 after he aggravated an oblique strain in batting practice the day before.
"It's coming along, I've been working hard, but it's very uncertain if I'll be ready in five days," Cain said.
So far, Cain has been restricted to just strength and conditioning, but he has not starting swinging the bat or throwing.
"If I can get healthy enough to run at full speed and play defense at full speed, that will be good enough for now, then I can ease my way back into hitting," Cain said.
In his absence, Jarrod Dyson and Emilio Bonifacio have been splitting games in center field.
Paulino only wants to return when 100 percent ready
KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino made his third rehabilitation start with Triple-A Omaha on Sunday, but said he still needs more time to get comfortable.
"To be honest with you, I need more work," Paulino said. "In this situation, where the team is good, I don't want to come in here and mess it up. I want to be sure that if I come back here, I will help. They are pitching so well that if I come back, I have to prove myself and prove to everybody that I am back to help."
Paulino, who is still recovering from last year's Tommy John surgery, pitched 3 2/3 innings against Memphis and allowed two runs on two hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches, 42 strikes. He said he has three more starts scheduled in Omaha.
"I still feel a little mechanically off, but the good thing is that it was a game and games make me feel better," Paulino said. "I really tried to make some adjustments myself and hopefully my next one, I will keep it going."
Paulino started his rehabilitation assignment in July, but returned to Kansas City to meet with doctors about stiffness in his back. He also experienced shoulder stiffness before re-starting his assignment on Aug. 8. Through three starts, he is 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA.
MLB refutes Tejada, Biogenesis report
KANSAS CITY -- ESPN reported that Royals veteran infielder Miguel Tejada, suspended last Saturday because of positive tests for amphetamine use, also was implicated in the Biogenesis investigation, but Major League Baseball issued a statement refuting the report.
"The Office of the Commissioner investigated all allegations regarding players associated with Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis. The investigation found no violation by Miguel Tejada of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the statement read.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the case, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reported that Major League Baseball had the choice of penalizing Tejada in the Biogenesis case or for the amphetamine violation. Tejada was given the choice of a 105-game suspension for failed drug tests or facing additional punishment in the Biogenesis investigation, according to Gomez's sources.
MLB handed Tejada a 105-game suspension, which came six days after he went on the Royals' 60-day disabled list for a right calf injury.
The Biogenesis inquiry led to penalties on Aug. 5 for 13 players, including Alex Rodriguez, who appealed. The other 12 players accepted 50-game suspensions; Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game penalty on July 22.
KC's Maxwell returns from bereavement leave
KANSAS CITY -- Justin Maxwell has returned to the Royals from the bereavement list.
Maxwell went 1-for-4 in Tuesday night's loss to the White Sox, playing right field and batting sixth. To make room on the 25-man roster, pitcher Will Smith was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
In 15 games since being acquired from the Astros, Maxwell has a .389 (14-for-36) average with three home runs and seven RBIs. He missed three games to attend the funeral of his grandmother in New Jersey.
Smith was on his sixth stint with the Royals this season. This time, he appeared in one game, pitching 2 2/3 innings against the Tigers and giving up one run (on Prince Fielder's homer) in Saturday's 6-5 loss.
Francoeur designated for assignment by Giants
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Jeff Francoeur has been designated for assignment again, this time by the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants dropped Francoeur on Tuesday after he batted .194 with no home runs and four RBIs in 22 games.
Francoeur became so popular in Kansas City that the Royals held "Frenchy Quarter Thursday" with a special seating section in right field. But after his production fell off for the second straight season, the Royals designated him for assignment on June 30, and he later signed with the Giants.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.