Rusty Kuntz, the Royals’ first-base coach, suffered a freak injury during batting practice on Monday when a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez fractured his wrist. He will undergo surgery here on Wednesday.
Mike Jirschele filled in for Kuntz at first base during Monday’s game. Kuntz spent the evening in a sling, dealing with the pain.
The accident occurred a couple hours before a 4-3 loss to Cleveland. He was standing in shallow center field, preparing to hit fungoes to the outfielder. When he reached to pick up his bag of baseballs, he felt something strike his arm.
"I turned around and I looked – I thought somebody hit me with a baseball bat," Kuntz said. He added, "It was like ‘Oh my God. What the hell?’ And that was the first time I’ve ever broken a bone."
Perez profusely apologized to Kuntz afterward.
"He felt so bad," Kuntz said. "Oh my God. He came in right after and said ‘Papi, are you OK? Papi, are you alright?’
"’Salvy, right now, no. All I want to do is throw up right now.’"
The team hopes Kuntz can return to action by this weekend in Baltimore. "Depending on how big a cast they’ve got to put on," manager Ned Yost said.