The KC Royals should keep Salvador Perez away from his catching gear this week
Nine days have passed since Houston's Jose Altuve fouled a Cole Ragans pitch off Salvador Perez's face mask. Clearly fazed, Perez left the game and landed on the Injured List two days later.
We wrote here, when the Royals officially sidelined him, that it was time for them to shut Perez down for the season; nothing significant could be achieved, we argued, by returning him to the lineup for what would at best be a week's worth of games at the end of one of the worst seasons in club history.
But their captain is a hard man to keep off the field — after he cleared protocols, the Royals returned Perez to the active roster Sunday, just in time to serve as DH against Houston. He came back in style, clubbing his 22nd home run of the year and driving in two runs to help KC beat the Astros 6-5.
Clear now is that the Royals aren't shutting him down. But that doesn't mean the Kansas City brain trust should give Perez free reign. He's been concussed before and suffered countless other injuries, aches, and pains, all unavoidable consequences of 12 major league seasons spent primarily behind the plate.
The Royals should limit Perez to DH (and maybe give him a game or two at first base) during this campaign's final week. Injury-free is how he should end the season.