Ned Yost fielded a lineup on Thursday afternoon that featured a backup at second base, a backup in left field and a backup in right. With the Royals still finding their way in the wake of Alex Rios’ injury, Yost wanted to keep catcher Salvador Perez in his usual position behind the plate.
And so, for the ninth consecutive time this season, Perez started and caught every inning. Yost had mentioned Thursday as a possible day off for Perez, but still reserve catcher Erik Kratz remained inactive. Yost mentioned Perez’s lively hitting as one reason to keep him in the lineup.
“He’s swinging the bat pretty good right now,” Yost said. “We’ll look for another day here in a couple of days to try to find a spot to give him a break.”
That day could be Sunday. The Royals finish a series with Oakland on a day game after a night game. Perez ripped two more hits in Thursday’s 8-5 loss to Minnesota, including an RBI double. He is hitting .368 to start the season with a 1.043 on-base plus slugging percentage.
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But Yost still understands he must rest Perez more often than he did in 2014. Perez received a pair of built-in off-days thanks to the schedule in the first nine games. The Royals will not have another day off until May 4.
“We just had an off-day the day before yesterday,” Yost said. “But, yeah, we’ll look to give him a day or two during this stretch.”