There was some good news in Royals camp Sunday regarding catcher Salvador Perez.
One day after Perez left Team Venezuela’s game in the World Baseball Classic because of a left knee injury, manager Ned Yost said he didn’t believe there was any structural damage to the knee.
In a news release Saturday night, Team Venezuela said Perez had an MRI done in Mexico, where the game was played, and the results showed only inflammation in the knee.
“He’s going to be OK, we think,” Yost said. “He’ll be all right. They checked him out yesterday, Pedro (Grifol, the Royals catching coach) was on the phone most of the night, and so was Nick (Kenney, the Royals’ head trainer), talking to the (Venezuela) GM, talking to the trainers, and talking to Salvy himself.
“He feels much better. He felt better last night.”
About an hour after Yost’s update, Perez wrote on Instagram: “Thank God everything is fine with my knee.”
He also sent a message of support in Spanish to Team Venezuela.
Yost said Perez will be back in camp on Monday and the team will give him another MRI to confirm that there was no damage to the knee.
Perez was injured in a freak play during the game in Jalisco, Mexico. Italy’s Drew Butera, the Royals’ backup catcher, thought he had a chance to score in the bottom of the ninth inning when a throw from the outfield appeared to miss a cutoff man.
Venezuela pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, who should have been backing up the plate, instead was in front of the pitcher’s mound. The ball bounced to Rodriguez, who threw to Perez. That seemed to catch Perez off guard, and he was in an awkward spot when Butera arrived.
“When you watch the play,” Yost said, “it wasn’t Drew’s fault. It was just a messed-up play.”
Yost said that despite the injury to Perez, he still likes the World Baseball Classic.
Ditto for relief pitcher Peter Moylan, who was back in the Royals clubhouse on Sunday after pitching for Team Australia in Tokyo. Moylan lamented the injury to Perez, but said the WBC is a great experience.
“Any fan, any front office person, any staff member doesn’t want anyone getting hurt,” Moylan said. “It was a freak little fake half slide. ... You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but at the same time it’s international play, and it’s a different level of excitement. I can’t speak for the Americans, but I know the Australian team was excited to be there and will continue to try to be there.
Raul Mondesi update
Infielder Raul Mondesi, who left Friday’s game against the A’s after a collision at first base, was expected to work out Sunday with the team, Yost said.
The Royals gave Mondesi the day off on Saturday to make sure he didn’t have a concussion.
“We’re hoping to get him a game tomorrow or the next day for sure,” Yost said.