The choice, for the Royals, was simple in the end. They chose to keep Brayan Peña over Humberto Quintero as their backup catcher Wednesday because Peña will remain under club control, via arbitration, through next season.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Quintero will be a free agent once this season ends.
We have Brayan under control for next year, manager Ned Yost confirmed. And we like Brayan. Brayan has improved as a catcher. Hes an offensive guy who is getting better defensively, and hes under control for next year.
The Royals designated Quintero for assignment BEFORE Wednesday afternoons series finale against Tampa Bay at Kauffman Stadium. By doing so, they now have 10 days to reach a resolution through a trade, a release or a waiver claim.
A choice between Peña and Quintero became an issue once starting catcher Salvy Perez returned last Friday from a season-long stay on the disabled list after suffering torn cartilage in his left knee in spring training.
I never take anything for granted, Peña said. Im very happy to be here and to be able to stay here. Like I always say, and Ill say it again, I hope I can retire as a Royal. Thats why I always try to do my best and play my hardest.
It was Perezs injury that prompted the Royals to acquire Quintero with outfielder Jason Bourgeois in a March 20 trade from Houston for two minor-league players: reliever Kevin Chapman and outfielder DAndre Toney.
Quintero, 32, batted .232 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 43 games while splitting time with Peña, who carried a .268 average into Wednesday with one homer and 13 RBIs in 40 games.
Q saved us, Yost said. He picked us up big time. He did a great job for us. Were really going to miss him. Hes great in the clubhouse and great on the field.
Teaford, Bourgeois return
The Royals also recalled left-handed pitcher Everett Teaford and outfielder Jason Bourgeois from Class AAA Omaha prior to the game. They cleared one roster space by optioning lefty reliever Francisley Bueno to Omaha; designating Quintero created the other opening.
Recalling Teaford was expected since he was previously identified by Yost as Wednesdays starting pitcher and joined the club Tuesday under the taxi squad provision in the new labor agreement.
Bourgeois was something of a surprise, particularly since he was batting just .205 in 40 games at Omaha.
I think were going to have a chance to see a bunch of lefties in the next week or 10 days, Yost said. We needed another right-handed bat in the lineup.
Bourgeois started Wednesday against Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore.
Right-hander Felipe Paulinos surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, a procedure commonly known as Tommy John surgery, is scheduled for next Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the surgery his fourth this season on a Royals pitcher. Joakim Soria and Blake Wood underwent Tommy John surgery in April, and Danny Duffy did so earlier this month.
Paulino was diagnosed with the injury after a June 20 start for Class AA Northwest Arkansas while on a rehab assignment in his recovery from a strained right groin. The typical recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 10-14 months.
Back on hold
Buenos appeal of a three-game suspension, stemming from an Aug. 13, 2008, incident while pitching for Atlanta, is back in abeyance following his return to Omaha on an optional assignment.
The suspension resulted from a pitch that nearly hit Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs on the chin. Bueno buzzed Soriano in apparent retaliation for an exuberant display in a previous at-bat.
Soriano believed his long drive was a homer, but the ball hit the wall, and he settled for a single. Bueno returned to the minors before the suspension could be appealed and didnt return to the majors until last Saturday.
The union automatically filed the appeal when Bueno joined the Royals. Now, its back on hold.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain shifted to Omaha to continue his rehab assignment in his recovery for a torn left hip flexor. He went four for 15 in four games at Northwest Arkansas.
Cain suffered the injury on April 24 at Northwest Arkansas while on a previous rehab assignment for a strained left groin, which occurred April 10 in Oakland.
2012 season (through 37 games): 871,647
2011 season (through 37 games): 711, 197
2012 average: 23,558
2011 average: 19,222