KC Royals awaiting key injury update on Salvador Perez

The All-Star catcher's knee is cause for concern.
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STORY UPDATE: After this story originally appeared, it was announced that Salvador Perez has knee inflammation and is considered day-to-day. However, the KC Royals called up catcher Austin Nola from Triple-A Omaha; to make room for him on the active roster, they optioned pitcher Anthony Veneziano to the Storm Chasers.

As if their suddenly inconsistent starting rotation, troublesome bullpen, and lack of offense from their corner outfielders aren't giving the KC Royals reasons to fret, they now must worry about star catcher Salvador Perez.

Now in his 13th major league season, Perez has been a driving force in the Royals' 2024 resurgence that's had them in second place in the American League Central for almost the entire season. He's hitting .297 with a stunning .375 OBP reflective of his new and refreshing, selectivity at the plate. The eight-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger winner has 11 home runs, including the impressive three-run shot he hammered in the fourth inning against the Dodgers Friday night, and 45 RBI in 69 games.

Los Angeles came back to win Friday, but the game may not be the only loss Kansas City suffered. Perez left the game after the seventh, replaced behind the plate by Freddy Fermin to begin the Royals' half of the eighth. Per MLB.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers, Perez "felt a tweak in his right knee" earlier in the contest and it was "sore" after the game.

He was to be evaluated further before tonight's 8:10 p.m. CDT tilt against the Dodgers.

Losing Salvador Perez for more than a few games would hurt the Royals

As of this writing, no fresh news had been forthcoming from the team. But because Perez and the Royals are on the West Coast, two hours in time behind Kansas City, the lack of an update isn't at all surprising.

Hopefully, his tweaked knee turns out to be nothing more than that, and what time he misses, if any, will be short. Should the injury proves more serious, however, the Royals could be in trouble. The club is already wavering from its excellent start — the Royals have lost six of their last 10 games and 12 of their last 18, are 5-7 in June and, although they're still in second place in the Central, have fallen six games behind first-place Cleveland.

What the club will do if Perez is forced to miss a significant number of games? In the short-term, Freddy Fermin would likely take over behind the plate; although he swings a capable bat, he lacks Perez's power, and that might lead the Royals to hit the market for someone else.

But that's only if testing reveals the kind of injury that would knock Perez out for the long-term. If whatever he did Friday isn't serious, though, expect Fermin to be the Royals' prime catcher and for them to bring five-season big league veteran Austin Nola up from Triple-A Omaha. Besides his major league experience, Nola caught KC starters Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha at San Diego.

What will happen? That depends on what the club learns before tonight's game.

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