The discomfort in his neck still palpable, Royals catcher Salvador Perez was out of the lineup again on Sunday, poised to miss his second straight game as the club concluded a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.
“He’s better today than he was yesterday,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “And we’ll just go day to day with it.”
The stiffness in Perez’s neck surfaced on Saturday morning after a poor night of sleep at the Royals’ team hotel, Yost said. The discomfort increased as Perez went through his usual pregame routine. By late afternoon on Saturday, he could barely turn his head, Yost said. Perez sat out during a 2-1 loss to Rangers, the Royals’ third straight defeat. On Sunday, Yost opted to give him another day to rest.
“He slept on it wrong, and he felt it [Saturday],” Yost said. “And he went in the cage and was doing his daily drill work that he does, and it just started getting stiffer and stiffer and tighter and tighter, to the point where he really struggled to turn his neck.”
The ailment comes as the Royals continue their search for additional offense. Perez, 26, has started 16 of the Royals’ 17 games, including three as the team’s designated hitter. He is batting .258 with a .277 on-base percentage and five homers.
Drew Butera, 33, made his third straight start behind the plate after Perez served as the designated hitter on Friday. Butera finished two for three on Saturday, raising his season average to .231 (3 for 13).