Salvador Perez sported a sizable bruise on his left shin, a receipt from a foul tip on Friday night, which was reason enough for Royals manager Ned Yost to scratch him from Saturday’s game against the Tigers.
Yost initially penciled Perez into the lineup. But he changed his mind after conferring with Perez and the training staff.
"It was more swollen than I had anticipated," Yost said. "It’s real black and blue. Of course he lobbied to play [Saturday and Sunday]. And I’m like ‘No.’ Let’s be smart about this."
Brett Hayes started in Perez’s place. It was his second start of the season. Yost expects Perez to play again on Sunday in the series finale.
The foul tip occurred in the seventh inning on Friday while batting against Tigers starter Rick Porcello. The ball avoided his shin guard and caught his flesh. Perez finished his at-bat, but Hayes replaced him for the eighth.
Despite a flurry of hits last week, Perez is still pulling himself out of a dreadful early season slump. His .674 on-base plus slugging percentage is 97 points below his career average. Now he has a day off, perhaps one day ahead of schedule.
"I was thinking about giving him a day off [Sunday], with the quick turnaround after the night game," Yost said. "So I’m just going to give it to him tonight. Give him a little extra time. It’s swollen, it’s sore. Let [trainer] Nick [Kenney] work on him tonight, and he’ll be in there [Sunday]."