The Royals outlined a tentative workload plan for Salvador Perez as the All-Star catcher returned to the lineup Saturday for the first time since sustaining a left quadriceps contusion.
Emphasis on tentative.
Before Saturday night’s 7-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians, Royals manager Ned Yost said he planned to give Perez two more days of rest over the next four days, including a day off on Sunday. In the moments after the loss, he backed away from that statement.
“We definitely need to give Lorenzo Cain a day off,” Yost said. “I think he’s had one day off the whole year. So we’ll probably give him a day. It’s hard to have both of those guys out of the lineup at the same time.
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“If Sal feels good tomorrow, we might consider catching him.”
Perez missed just six games following a collision with third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert last Saturday. Whether he plays Sunday or not, Perez is expected to receive some rest as the Royals head to Baltimore for a three-game series starting Monday.
The Royals also have an off day on Thursday before concluding the road trip with a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox.
During a brief interview following Saturday’s loss, Perez said his left quad held up while playing nine innings.
“Awesome,” Perez said. “I feel great today.”
The Royals initially estimated that Perez could miss seven to 10 days after the injury. But Yost was reluctant to put Perez on the disabled list, hoping that Perez could be back within a week. On Friday, Yost said he conferred with Royals trainer Nick Kenney, who endorsed Perez’s return.
“After [batting practice] yesterday, I had a good chat with Nick, and Nick felt good about it,” Yost said. “Salvy is feeling good about it. He’s gone through his drills the last three days and has progressively felt better and better.”
Medlen departs to Arizona
Right-hander Kris Medlen flew to Surprise, Ariz., on Saturday as he continues his recovery from a 15-day stint on the disabled list.
Medlen is expected to face live hitters in Arizona before departing on a rehab assignment if all goes to plan.