KC Royals: Salvador Perez undergoes eye surgery once again

How will this affect the KC Royals franchise star?
KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez
KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals dropped their series opener against the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 on June 27, 2023, but they were notably without their star catcher, Salvador Perez. That is because the seven-time All-Star underwent another eye surgery, the third in this decade. Anne Rogers of MLB.com reported the reason behind Perez's absence on Tuesday.

The KC Royals returned on Tuesday without star Salvador Perez.

Perez first landed on the injured list in the 2020 season and was diagnosed with left-eye central serous chorioretinopathy. It was Perez's first brush with blurred vision in his MLB career, but amended with a “super quick” procedure, according to Perez. The process drains fluid from behind the eye using a laser, according to the Kansas City Star. The star catcher underwent the procedure again in early 2022 but returned to the lineup one day later as the designated hitter. The clearer vision enabled a more powerful Perez, as he mashed two home runs in his first game back.

“When it happened to me in 2020, it kind of surprised me,” Perez said in 2022. “I got scared a little bit. Now, I know how to handle it. ... I kind of know what I have, so I can go through that.”

This is yet another injury or reason for Perez being missing from the Royals lineup. He left a June 14 contest against the Cincinnati Reds due to a hand contusion, earning him a day-to-day classification. Then, he left a June 23 game against the Tampa Bay Rays early due to cramps in his right hamstring. The cramps limited him to a designated hitter role on June 24, but he returned as the catcher on June 25. His struggles and injuries in June could keep him out of the All-Star Game and certainly affected his poor voting performance.

The veteran has appeared in 71 games this season, 52 of those being behind the plate. Considering the catcher position's wear and tear, plus Perez's compiling injuries, it is impressive that he has only missed eight games so far this season. His bat is incredibly important to the Royals' offense. Perez has 15 home runs and 39 RBIs as of June 28. He had an incredible May stat line, with a .972 OPS and tying a team record with nine home runs in one month.