As if last night’s loss wasn’t bad enough, following the game, Andy McCullough tweeted this about Salvador Perez:
Salvador Perez will undergo an MRI on his knee tomorrow. Ned Yost still says the condition is not serious.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) August 21, 2014
Just as you might expect, the replies to the above tweet were less than positive. And I get it. Perez is probably the 2nd or 3rd most important player on the roster, and if he were to miss any amount of time down the stretch, the Royals and their division lead would be in a precarious position. Erik Kratz is a capable backup catcher, but I think it’s fair to say a playoff contender wouldn’t want him starting every day in September.
You’d be going from arguably the best catcher in the league, to a 34-year old with limited big league experience. Needless to say, that’s a big deal.
Now, we may be putting the cart before the horse here. An MRI doesn’t necessarily mean something is significantly wrong. The organization may simply want to make sure their star catcher is fully healthy, and an MRI isn’t an invasive procedure that requires a long layoff. It’s possible there is something structurally wrong, but I’m going to hold off on the panic until those results come back. I’m also not going to judge those who are more skeptical of Ned Yost‘s claim. We are Royals fans, after all.
That being said, I do think some trust is warranted. The Royals’ training staff is one of the best in the game, and if there is one aspect of this regime that deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s the team led by Nick Kenney and Kyle Turner. They’ve done an excellent job since taking over, and the Royals’ record of health in the last year or so has been better than the league average.
After Perez tweaked his knee on Monday night, many fans assumed he would have at least taken Tuesday night off, just to make sure everything was healed. But apparently the training staff didn’t have any issues with clearing Perez, because he was in the lineup, as he usually is. Then, of course, he was scratched shortly before last night’s game because of the soreness in his knee.
This sequence of events led many people to question why he played at all on Tuesday. Following the injury Monday night, I said it would be best to just let Perez have the entire Rockies series off, since they aren’t a great team and Kratz could likely handle himself against a pair of left-handed starters. But once I saw Perez’s name on the lineup card, I thought the injury must not have been all that serious, because the team wouldn’t take chances with his health. That thought may turn out to be wrong, but again, I’ll trust the training staff.
With the Royals having a day off today, the focus will likely be on Perez and his valuable right knee. Any serious problems that show up in the results won’t completely dash the Royals’ hopes, but it will create another obstacle in their path to the playoffs, as they attempt to hold off the Tigers in the final month of the season.