DETROIT — Catcher Salvy Perez often moves about the Royals clubhouse in a T-shirt with the yellow, blue and red horizontal stripes of the Venezuelan flag.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
So let there be no doubt: If Perez gets asked to play next spring for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, he plans to do so.
Oh, yes, he said. For sure, I would say yeah. There are a lot of catchers in Venezuela, and I havent heard anything yet. But if they want me to go, I would go for sure.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar, another Venezuelan native, feels the same way.
I want to go, he said. Its my country. Its been my dream to play for country and to have Venezuela on the front of my jersey. But I havent heard anything yet. Im waiting to hear.
The downside, of course, is time spent on WBC rosters comes at the expense of regular spring training.
Im OK with it, Royals manager Ned Yost said, because both guys have genuine excitement about playing for their country in the World Baseball Classic. I have more concern with our pitchers than our position players, particularly our relievers.
Weve had some (relievers) who have had a tremendous workload this year; guys who we, probably, wouldnt even put into a spring-training game until like March 10 That all goes down the drain if theyre in the WBC.
Candidates for selection include Kelvin Herrera (Dominican Republic), Luis Mendoza (Mexico) and Bruce Chen (Panama) in addition to several bullpen candidates for the United States team.
Chen resurrected his career by pitching in 2009 for Panama after missing the previous year while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He signed a minor-league deal with the Royals shortly after tournament.
Yost dismissed concerns that Perezs participation would affect his time in working with the Royals pitchers.
He knows our pitchers, Yost said. Its more a case that you worry about him getting hurt in an activity thats not yours.
Several players are turning their thoughts to the WBC because the preliminary qualifying rounds are under way. Spain and Canada won qualifying tournaments earlier this week. Two more qualifying tournaments are in November.
Venezuela doesnt need to qualify for the 16-nation tournament, which takes place next March. It will join the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and a qualifier to be determined in pool play from March 7-10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The four pool winners advance to the championship round, which is March 17-19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Japan won the two previous titles in 2006 and 2009.
We havent heard anything yet, Escobar said, but if they ask me to go oh, yeah, I would go. If not, Ill stay in spring training with Kansas City.
Opponents might start to think twice at testing Jarrod Dysons throwing ability, which is supposedly limited by a strained lat muscle in his back. Dyson threw out two runners in Mondays 6-2 loss to the Tigers.
I didnt think the throws were that strong, he said, but everybody else was wondering, Are you all right?
The concern stemmed from an injury Dyson suffered in late August that limited his ability to throw. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 21, he served solely as a pinch-runner. Even now, he is likely to flip the ball to another outfielder on a deep drive into the gaps.
Yost said Dysons two throws Monday were within tolerable limits.
He had good momentum going into the ball, Yost said, and he had a nice, easy fluid throw. There was no major exertion. There was no force or pressure on the shoulder. He just came up and threw it.
Thats why hes allowed hes allowed to play; hes capable of doing that.
Dyson doubled up Austin Jackson at first base in the first inning after making a diving catch on short center on Quintin Berrys sinking liner. Maybe the throw seemed stronger because first baseman Eric Hosmer tumbled over backward after making the catch.
It was an in-between hop, Hosmer laughed while offering an explanation. I felt like I couldnt go out and get it. I just wanted to sit back as far as possible and make that hop longer. The momentum just took over.
Dyson also threw out Jhonny Peraltas bid to stretch a single into as double in the fifth.
Class AAA Omaha announced it finished the season with an increase in attendance for the seventh straight year after drawing 415,615 fans for its 72 regular-season home games.
Thats an average of 5,772 at Werner Park, which lists 6,434 as its seating capacity. The Storm Chasers also drew 17,758 for four home playoff games.
The Royals failed to place any players on Baseball Americas list of the top 20 prospects in the Arizona Rookie League.
Instructional League update
Third baseman Mark Threlkeld went three for three with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored Monday in leading the Royals to an 8-0 victory over Seattle in their Instructional League opener.
Threlkeld, 22, was the Royals 25th-round pick in 2011 and batted .283 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs in 62 games this season for short-season Burlington.
Right-hander Aroni Nina allowed one hit in three innings in the combined shutout. Nina, 22, was 3-4 with a 5.85 ERA in 14 games this season for short-season Idaho Falls and Rookie Surprise.
The Royals/Rangers combination advanced team lost 12-4 to the Indians/Reds advanced team. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio went two for four with two RBIs. Bonifacio, 19, batted .282 with 10 homers and 61 RBIs this season in 105 games at Class A Kane County.
It was 27 years ago Wednesday Sept. 26, 1985 that Steve Balboni became the Royals single-season leader in home runs by hitting his 35th in a 5-2 victory at Seattle.
Balboni broke the record of 34 by John Mayberry in 1975. Balboni finished the season with 36 homers, which remains the franchise record.