August 7, 2013

Salvy Perez says ‘everything is good’ for return to Royals’ lineup after concussion

Four days after being diagnosed with a low-grade concussion, Royals catcher Salvy Perez was cleared Wednesday to take part in a light workout on a stationary bike. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Sunday against Boston after being on the mandatory seven-day disabled list for concussions.

For the third consecutive day, Salvy Perez optimistically predicted his stay on the disabled list will require only the minimum seven days.

This time, his claim comes with good reason.

Four days after being diagnosed with a low-grade concussion, Perez was cleared Wednesday to take part in a light workout on a stationary bike.

“I feel good today,” Perez said. “No more headaches. Everything is good.”

A foul tip hammered Perez’s catcher’s mask Saturday, and he was placed on Major League Baseball’s mandatory seven-day disabled list for concussions the following day. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Sunday against Boston.

“We’re going to institute a real light exercise program for him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You exercise in steps. He’ll get through the first one (Wednesday) and see where he’s at. But everything is moving in a positive direction.”

When Perez returns to the Royals’ lineup, he may have a different look to him. He plans to try out three different hockey-style masks, which he believes should provide better protection against future head injuries. Perez will try out a hockey-style mask the next time he catches a bullpen session.

“I need to catch a bullpen first before (I use it) — maybe Friday,” Perez said. “We’ll see how I feel.”

Hayes gets first start

With Danny Duffy on the mound for his first start of the season Wednesday, Yost opted to provide him a familiar face behind the plate.

That allowed catcher Brett Hayes to get his first start with the Royals. Hayes, who was brought up to the big-league club when Perez was placed on the disabled list Sunday, caught three of Duffy’s last five starts in Omaha.

“I’m looking forward to going out there and getting to play here,” Hayes said. “It’s going to be fun. Just another baseball game.”

Not entirely. It was Hayes’ first start with the Royals after spending the first four years of his career with the Marlins.

In 68 games in Omaha this summer, Hayes batted .231 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs.

Coleman extends scoreless streak

Louis Coleman has split time this summer between the Royals and AAA Omaha. His time with the former has been quite impressive.

Coleman continued his run of scoreless appearances with the Royals on Wednesday, firing 12/3 innings of no-run ball. He picked up his second victory of the season in the process.

For the season, Coleman has appeared in 14 games without allowing a run, a string that includes 161/3 innings.

The bullpen success, however, isn't limited to Coleman. Over the past 14 games — during which the Royals have gone 12-2 — the bullpen has allowed only eight runs, good for a 1.32 ERA over 472/3 innings.

Smith optioned to Omaha

Will Smith threw three perfect innings in relief of starter James Shields on Wednesday and struck out five in his first major-league appearance in a month.

He was rewarded with an option back to Class AAA Omaha to make room for Duffy.

“He was the obvious candidate before (yesterday) really — that’s why we had him throw three (innings),” Yost said. “We don’t have a lot of versatility or roster flexibility in the pen.

“But Will did a great job yesterday. He’s going to be back.”

In three stints with the Royals this season, Smith has made seven appearances, including one start. He has a 3.26 ERA.

MLB Network game

Apparently the MLB Network has taken a look at the Royals’ recent TV ratings. The national network picked up the Royals’ game Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, a 6:10 p.m. start.

Locally, the game still will be shown on Fox Sports Kansas City.

Looking back

Fifteen years ago Wednesday — Aug. 7, 1998 — Jose Offerman extended his hitting streak to 27 games with three hits in an 8-2 loss to New York at Yankee Stadium.

Offerman’s streak remains the second longest in Royals history. George Brett recorded a 30-game hitting streak in the 1980 season.

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