Winter ball: Perez is blazing hot

   Royals catcher Salvy Perez is off to a torrid start at La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League at nine for 23 with nine RBIs in his first five games. He had two homers and four RBIs in Sunday's 9-7 loss to Zulia.

   Anyone surprised?

   Left-hander Justin Marks made a strong statement in the Arizona Fall League, which concluded last Saturday, by going 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in seven starts for the Surprise Saguaros. Marks, 24, had 22 strikeouts and five walks in 24 1/3 innings.

   The Royals acquired Marks with pitcher Vin Mazzaro from Oakland in the Nov. 10, 2010 trade for outfielder David DeJesus. Club officials must now decide by 11 p.m. Tuesday whether to put Marks on their 40-man roster or leave him exposed for selection next month in the Rule 5 Draft.

   Other winter-ball updates:

  • Utility infielders Tony Abreu and Irving Falu are struggling. Abreu is batting .237 (nine for 35) in 11 games for Aguilas in the Dominican Republic, while Falu is at .192 (five for 26) for Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
  • Infielder Christian Colon, in contrast, is batting .343 (12 for 35) for Ponce in Puerto Rico. Colon was the Royals' first-round pick in 2010.
  • Catcher Manny Pina is still looking for his first winter hit; he is zero for nine in six games for Margarita in Venezuela.
  • Right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, acquired recently on waivers, has four straight scoreless one-inning outings for Caracas in Venezuela. Overall, he has allowed one run and three hits in five innings.