Catcher Salvy Perez, as expected, returned to the lineup Monday after missing the three-game weekend series against Cleveland because of a bruised right hand and bruised left thumb.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Perez wore a heating element to aid his left thumb prior to the game. Still he declared himself to be “bueno,” using the Spanish word for good.
“The right hand is pretty good,” he said. “That’s what matters. We’ll see tonight.”
Manager Ned Yost acknowledged he rested Perez against the last-place Indians in order to have him available for the four-game series against Detroit, which trailed first-place Chicago by one game prior to Monday’s series opener.
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson needs two steals over the season’s final 10 games for the Royals to have two players reach 30 for the first time since 1985. Shortstop Alcides Escobar already has a career-high 31 steals.
The Royals had to players reach 40 in 1985: Willie Wilson with 43, and Lonnie Smith with 40. Only once have the Royals had three players reach 30 — in 1978, when Wilson had 46, Freddie Patek had 38 and Amos Otis had 32.
The Royals also had more than one player steal 30 bases in 1969 (Pat Kelly and Joe Foy), 1970 (Kelly and Otis), 1971 (Otis and Patek), 1975 (Otis and Patek), 1979 (Wilson and Otis), 1982 (Wilson and John Wathan) and 1983 (Wilson and U.L. Washington).
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur has the Royals closing in on an achievement unseen in more than a century: Having two different players lead the majors in outfield assists in consecutive seasons.
Francoeur entered Monday’s game with 19 assists, which was five more than anyone else. Oakland’s Josh Reddick and Arizona’s Jason Kubel each had 14. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon led the majors last season with a franchise-record 20 assists.
The last team to have players lead the majors in outfield assists in consecutive seasons was the Boston Red Sox with Tris Speaker in 1909 and Harry Hooper in 1910 — although Hooper only tied for the major-league lead.
The last team to have the majors’ outright leader in outfield assists in consecutive seasons was the 1898-99 St. Louis Cardinals with Dick Harley and Emmett Heidrick.
The Royals opened their 23-game Instructional League schedule Monday against Seattle in Peoria, Ariz. The Instructional League runs through Oct. 19.
Outfielder Bubba Starling, the organization’s first-round pick in 2011, is among the 72 active players on the club’s IL roster.
Other top prospects include catcher Cameron Gallagher; infielders Orlando Calixte, Cheslor Cuthbert, Jack Lopez and Adalberto Mondesi; and outfielders Jorge Bonifacio, Terrance Gore and Elier Hernandez.
It was 19 years ago Tuesday — Sept. 25, 1993 — that George Brett announced plans to retire at the end of the season. The Royals simultaneously announced Brett would become a vice president, a title that he still holds with the organization.
Brett, now 59, played 21 seasons for the Royals and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. He and his wife, Leslie, have three sons: Jackson, Dylan and Robin.