May 7, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) throws down to first base in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Royals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
On Monday night, Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer went after a foul popup. The ball ended up landing in the Houston Astros dugout, but Perez, watching the ball, crashed into the barrier in front of the dugout.
He stayed in the game and finished the inning before George Kottaras relieved him in the sixth inning.
Perez is a big guy and running full speed into the barrier is a scary injury. That’s just a lot of force. It was stated that he had hip irritation (no surprise). But after he’d lost half of 2012 to knee surgery, the prospect of Perez getting hurt again (and in the middle of a Royals skid) caused worry.
As it happens, the injury is just a deep bruise. Perez is out of Tuesday’s starting lineup in Houston, but if needed, he’d be available. Joel Goldberg reported that the Royals had an MRI performed on his hip, fearing a tear of some sort, but there is no such problem.
Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Perez ranks eighth among big league catchers in WAR according to FanGraphs while throwing out 32% of baserunners. With so few players hitting well to this point of the season, Perez in the lineup becomes even more important. After a 4-26 start to the year in the first week, Perez has gotten his batting average back above .300 and has surpassed 600 plate appearances for his career and his numbers look awfully similar to another high profile catcher. He only has one homer and he’s nearly impossible to walk, but he’s still hitting line drives, just as he did in 2011 and just as he did in 2012.
The Royals seem to have caught a break here, which is something that hasn’t happened much the last two weeks.