HOUSTON — The day-after news Tuesday on Royals catcher Salvy Perez was mostly positive: He has a deep bruise to his right hip but no structural damage or other longer-term issues.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Perez’s brief assessment: “Bueno!”
Good indeed. The Royals had crossed fingers that a follow-up examination would not reveal something more serious.
“We were worried that when he jammed his knee (into the dugout post), it pushed his (hip) socket back,” manager Ned Yost admitted. “There was some concern there might have been a tear in there. There wasn’t.
“It’s just a bruise, a deep bruise, but a bruise. That’s just day to day, which is very good news.”
Backup George Kottaras started Tuesday against the Astros, but Yost said Perez was available if necessary. Yost said Perez would be evaluated again prior to Wednesday’s series finale to determine whether he starts.
“We’d like to try to give him a day and see how he feels,” Yost said. “We’ll check him again (Wednesday). He might need another day. He might not. We just have to go day to day with it.”
Perez slammed into a post in front of the Houston dugout while pursuing a foul pop in the fifth inning of Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Astros. He initially remained in the game but exited when the Royals took the field in the sixth.
Slumping shortstop Alcides Escobar didn’t start for the first time this season. Utilityman Elliot Johnson replaced Escobar at short and as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.
Escobar’s average is down to 249 after getting just 10 hits in his last 62 at-bats.
“He’s just in a funk right now,” Yost said. “So we’ll give him a day, and maybe two, just to take it easy. He might be in there (Wednesday). I don’t know. He just needs to catch his breath a little bit.”
Shields plays host
Right-hander James Shields is joining with the Royals and Kansas City Power & Light Co. in a new community outreach program that benefits foster-care programs in the Kansas City area.
Shields will host 250 children and their families in the Big Game James Section at five Friday home games. The program continues his long-time association with foster-care children.
“This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” he said. “My wife and I started working with foster children when I was with the Rays, and I’m excited to continue with the Royals and KCP&L.
“Spending a day out at the ballpark is a great family activity, and I hope this program helps bring foster kids and families closer together as we try to find permanent homes for these children.”
Each child receives a complimentary tickets in section 206, a “Big Game James” T-shirt (courtesy of KCP&L), and a free meal (courtesy of Aramark and Papa John’s Pizza).
Shields will meet the children prior to the games. Fans who buy tickets in section 206 on Big Game James Section nights also receive a “Big Game James” T-shirt in support of the program.
The program begins with Friday’s game against the Angels. Other dates are June 7 vs. Houston, June 21 vs. Chicago, July 19 vs. Detroit and Aug. 23 vs. Washington.
The Royals are the “frontrunners” to sign Italian shortstop Marten Gasparini, according to Baseball America , when the international signing period begins July 2.
The magazine characterizes Gasparini, who turns 16 on Friday, as “one of the premier prospects in the entire international market.” The Dodgers and Cubs have also shown interest.
Gasparini is 6 feet, 175 pounds and a switch-hitter. Baseball America expects his signing bonus to be “north of $1 million.” The Royals’ allotted international draft pool is $2,988,100 under MLB’s assigned values.
Hall of Fame reps
Two members of the Royals Hall of Fame, George Brett and Art Stewart, will represent the club on June 6 at the Major League Draft at Studio 42 at the MLB Network headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
The first two rounds and the two new competitive-balance rounds will take place on June 6. Rounds three through 10 take place on Jun 7; rounds 11 through 40 take place on June 8.
The Royals have the eighth overall pick and first pick in first competitive-balance round (No. 34 overall). Their second-round pick is No. 46 overall.
• Lo-A Lexington outfielder Bubba Starling went two for four Monday in a 3-1 victory over Asheville (Rockies) that marked his first game since undergoing Lasix surgery.
Starling, 20, missed seven games while undergoing and recovering from the procedure. The fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, he is batting .221 in 36 games with four homers and 18 RBIs.
• Right-hander Miguel Almonte, 20, settled for a no-decision despite yielding one run and two hits in 5 ⅔ innings. He has allowed only three runs and 11 hits over 25⅓ innings in his last four starts.
• Veteran reliever Blaine Boyer, who sought and obtained his release last week from Class AAA Omaha, reached an agreement with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League.
It was nine years ago Wednesday — May 22, 2004 — that Zack Greinke made his major-league debut, at age 20, when he allowed two runs and five hits in five innings at Oakland.
Greinke was positioned for a victory until Jeremy Affeldt surrendered a two-run homer to Eric Chavez with two outs in the ninth inning after a one-out error by shortstop Angel Berroa.
The Royals lost 5-4 in 11 innings when Scott Sullivan allowed a two-out RBI single to Bobby Crosby.