As the Royals closed out the season against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon, first baseman Eric Hosmer found an empty seat in the dugout for the second straight day.
Hosmer was given another day off to rest a sore wrist, Royals manager Ned Yost said. The wrist issue, Yost said, has been bothering Hosmer for at least a couple weeks. The two days off coincided with Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, a significance that Yost recognized. But in the end, the Royals opted to be cautious.
Hosmer batted .242 with a .303 on-base percentage and six homers in September. After a sterling first half — and an MVP performance at the All-Star Game in San Diego — he hit just .225 with a .296 on-base percentage after the break.
He finished the season with a career high 25 homers and 104 RBIs, but he took a step back in batting average (.297 to .266), on-base percentage and slugging. As a result, his OPS regressed to .761 one year after posting a career high .822.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on that you guys don’t know anything about,” Yost said on Sunday. “But you just play through it.”
Perez gets final start at designated hitter
On Saturday, Yost hinted that catcher Salvador Perez was possibly done for the season because of nagging knee and hamstring ailments. But with Hosmer out of the lineup, Yost opted to give Perez one final start at designated hitter.
Perez’s speed was limited, Yost said, but he was healthy enough to play.