NEW YORK — A jarring foul ball off his mask Saturday in the 12th innings pushed All-Star catcher Salvy Perez over the edge after a recent series of similar incidents.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Perez was diagnosed with a “low-grade concussion” before Sunday’s 6-2 victory over the Mets after an overnight stay at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He rejoined the club before the game.
“I’ve still got a little bit of a headache,” Perez acknowledged. “My chin is sore (from where the ball hit him). I felt better after eating. I ate McDonald’s late last night, and it tasted like filet mignon.”
The Royals filled Perez’s spot on the roster by selecting the contract of Brett Hayes from Class AAA Omaha. They also recalled left-hander Will Smith after placing Wade Davis on family emergency leave.
“You just don’t know about these things,” manager Ned Yost said. “We’re hoping it’s going to be seven days (for Perez), but he’s got to have no headache and no symptoms to get on the field to start doing anything.
“How long that takes, we don’t know.”
Major League Baseball instituted a seven-day disabled list for concussions in 2011. Players are not permitted to return to action until cleared by a club’s designated concussion specialist and MLB’s medical director.
If a player is not reinstated by the 14th day after the injury, he is automatically transferred to the regular 15-day disabled list.
Perez, 23, needed a moment to recover Saturday after being struck in the chin by a foul ball off the bat of Justin Turner in the 12th inning of a 4-3 victory. Such knocks have occurred frequently in recent weeks.
Yost said he didn’t initially believe the foul tip was anything more than a jarring moment but changed his mind immediately after the game when Perez didn’t offer his usual celebratory embrace.
“I said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” Yost said, “He said, ‘Ah, my head is hurting. I’ve got a headache.’ So I knew something was wrong there.
“We took him right into the training room. The doctors came, and they took him to the hospital. They CAT-scanned him. Everything (seemed OK). His headache had subsided.
“He was clear and answering questions, but they still deemed it a slight concussion. And they don’t play with that stuff.”
Davis on leave
Right-handed pitcher Wade Davis departed the club Saturday after learning his brother is in critical condition. Officially, he is on the Family Medical Emergency List, which runs between three and seven days.
Yost said he doesn’t know when Davis will return. For now, Davis remains listed as the Royals’ scheduled starter for Wednesday’s series final against Minnesota at Kauffman Stadium.
Davis is 5-9 with a 5.42 ERA through 21 starts. He got a no-decision in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Mets in 11 innings after allowing two runs in five innings.
A fresh arm
The Royals planned to make a roster move to boost a spent bullpen even before their moves involving Perez and Davis. The bullpen worked 11⅔ innings over the two previous days in extra-inning games against the Mets.
The call, for the fourth time this season, went to lefty Will Smith, who allowed seven earned runs and 16 hits in 16 1/3 innings over six previous appearances. He has a 3.03 ERA in 26 games at Omaha.
“I definitely need the arm today,” Yost said before the game. “(Kelvin) Herrera is unavailable. Everybody else can suck it up and go.”
Smith said he got the call Saturday afternoon while taking a nap in Salt Lake City after Omaha’s early-morning flight from Tacoma. He said he got a quick heads-up from pitching coach Davie Eiland.
“Oh, yes,” Smith said. “He said, ‘You’d better be ready.’”
Smith wasn’t needed. The Royals used Tim Collins, Louis Coleman and Greg Holland to close out a 6-2 victory for starter Ervin Santana.
The summons for catcher Brett Hayes to replace Perez didn’t come until late Saturday. Hayes caught a midnight flight out of Salt Lake and arrived around 6 a.m. Sunday in New York.
Hayes, 29, will share time with George Kottaras until Perez returns. The two battled for duty as Perez’s backup in spring training before the Royals chose Kottaras, who started Sunday’s game.
Technically, the Royals selected Hayes from the Omaha roster and added him to their 25-man and 40-man rosters. They had space on their 40-man list, which meant they didn’t require a corresponding space-clearing move.
Hayes had 11 homers and 34 RBIs while batting .231 with a .280 on-base percentage in 68 games at Omaha. But he’s slumping: He arrives after getting just one hit in his last 27 at-bats.
Outfielder David Lough is expected to miss the next two games after exiting Sunday in the fifth inning because of tightness in his right quadriceps muscle.
Lough said that tightness first surfaced a few days earlier on a stolen base.
“I’m definitely not full speed,” he said. “ I’ve been trying to battle through it, but it’s been bothering me a little bit.”
Lough appeared sluggish Sunday in breaking from the batter’s box on a fly to right while leading the fifth. When Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd lost the ball in the sun, Lough was credited with a double.
A sacrifice by Miguel Tejada move Lough to third before Yost inserted Jarrod Dyson as a pinch-runner. The Royals, at the time, held a 1-0 lead.
“I just didn’t like the way he was running on that play,” Yost said. “We’ll give him two days, and then we’ll see where he’s at.”
Miggy rolls on
OK, it seems the Royals are convinced. Yost confirmed veteran infielder Miguel Tejada will draw regular duty at second base for the foreseeable future.
“Yeah, I’m going to ride him,” Yost said. “He’s doing fine so far. You just have to give him a break like we did (Saturday).
Tejada, 39, started Sunday for the eighth time in the last nine games. He went one for three with a walk and a sacrifice in the 6-2 victory. He is 12 for 31 with six RBIs in that nine-game span.
Yost even moved Tejada up in the lineup to the No. 2 spot, although he suggested that move — and his entire Sunday lineup — was due primarily to not having a designated hitter for interleague road games.
“Without our regular lineup, this whole thing gets screwed up,” he said. “It takes some imagination when you’re in the National League and one of your better hitters has to sit the bench.”
Yost opted to keep Billy Butler, the club’s DH, on the bench by returning Eric Hosmer to first base. Hosmer opened Saturday’s game in right field in order to permit Butler to play first base.
Getz heading to Omaha
Second baseman Chris Getz is scheduled to depart Monday for Salt Lake City to join Omaha on a minor-league rehab assignment for a sprained left knee.
Getz aggravated an already-sore knee on July 27 while attempting to turn a double play in the ninth inning of a 1-0 victory at Chicago. He is eligible to return to active duty on Aug. 12.
It was 36 years ago Monday — Aug. 5, 1977 — that John Mayberry became the second player in Royals history to hit for the cycle. He achieved the feat in a 12-2 victory over the White Sox at then-Royals Stadium.
Mayberry got a single in the second inning, a homer while leading off the third and a triple in the fourth. He grounded out in the sixth inning before completing his cycle with a double in the eighth.
Fred Patek hit for the cycle in 1971. George Brett and Frank White each did it twice. Brett did it in 1979 and 1990. White did it in 1979 and 1982.