The Royals will be without catcher Salvy Perez for a while.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
The team announced Sunday that Perez has been put on bereavement leave following the death of his maternal grandmother, who lives in Venezuela. The club also purchased the contract of catcher Adam Moore from Triple-A Omaha, as Perez will be out three to seven days.
“It was a surprise to Salvy, and it’s not a good situation,” said Mike Swanson, the Royals’ vice president for communications and broadcasting.
Perez, who has been dealing with discomfort in his hip for the better part of a week, sat on Saturday in favor of backup George Kottaras. Royals manager Ned Yost cited the need to rest Perez, who is batting .311, with a quick turnaround for Saturday’s day game after a night game on Friday.
“He’s just a little sore,” Yost said. “It’s just a deep bruise. It’s going to be sore for a while.”
Moore, 28, batted .190 in 24 games with the Storm Chasers. He broke through to the majors in 2009 with Seattle and is batting .196 in 72 big-league games.
Buckner back in the bigs
It appears any ill feelings Angels starter Billy Buckner had about being traded by the Royals six years ago have been overtaken by the desire to simply get back to the big leagues.
Buckner, 29, made his first big-league appearance in nearly three years (May 29, 2010) on Sunday, holding his former team to two hits and no runs through five innings in a 7-0 win. The victory was Buckner’s first in the big leagues since October 2, 2009, when he beat the Chicago Cubs as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Getting (the win) anywhere at this point was going to feel good,” Buckner said. “It is neat to come back to the park where I first started, but anywhere at this point is going to feel good.”
The Royals selected him in the second round of the 2004 draft — the year they chose Billy Butler in the first round. Buckner reached the majors in 2007 and was 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in seven games.
A Dec. 14, 2007 trade sent Buckner to Arizona for infielder Alberto Callaspo, who spent 2½ years with the Royals before a July 22, 2010 deal sent him to the Angels for pitchers Sean O’Sullivan and Will Smith.
Buckner was 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA in eight starts at Class AAA Salt Lake prior to his May 16 recall.
“He understands his game, understands how he has to change locations and speed,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. “He showed a good breaking ball and a good change-up and spotted his fastball and I think that got him through some tough spots.”
Even still, Scioscia stopped short of saying Buckner had earned another start. The Angels are currently missing ace Jered Weaver due to injury.
“We’re still waiting on reports on some of our guys to see how they’re doing,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to sort some things out in the next day or two.”
Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland is missing two games to return to his home in Florida to attend his daughter’s confirmation. Eiland left Saturday and will return in time for Monday afternoon's game against St. Louis.
Bullpen coach Doug Henry replaced Eiland as pitching coach, and the Royals summoned Steve Foster from his duties as the organization's minor-league pitching coordinator to fill Henry's duties in the bullpen. Foster served as bullpen coach from 2010 until last Aug. 31, when he shifted to his current role.
• The Royals released three minor-league players, including left-handed pitcher John Killen from their rookie team in Surprise, Ariz. He is a 2008 graduate of Blue Valley High School.
They also released right-handed pitchers Elvis Diaz and Felix Encarnacion from the Dominican Academy roster.
• It was two years ago Saturday that Royals Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff died. It was 29 years ago Sunday that he picked up the final victory of his career.
• Infielder Miguel Tejada turned 39 years old on Saturday.