Battling soreness in his left side, catcher Salvador Perez rested for the second time in three days as the Royals opened a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
“It’s been bothering him a little bit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Yost described the rest as a typical day off, adding that the club liked the pairing of reserve catcher Drew Butera with starting pitcher Jason Hammel. Perez is expected to start Tuesday and Wednesday before a day off on Thursday, Yost said.
The side issue has lingered since Perez first aggravated it on a swing June 11 in San Diego. Perez returned on Tuesday, after the Royals had a day off Monday in San Francisco. He rested Wednesday afternoon against the Giants before receiving another day off Saturday. He appeared to feel the issue again in the late innings Sunday in Anaheim.
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On Monday afternoon, Yost said that head trainer Nick Kenney was not concerned about the injury.
“Any time Salvy gets a little nicked, you’re a little concerned,” Yost said. “But if Nick’s not concerned, I’m not concerned, and Nick isn’t very concerned about this.
“He doesn’t feel like it’s an oblique. It’s just a spot that catches every once in a while, if (Perez) kind of pinches down on it. It gives him a little discomfort for a minute of two.”
Butera started at catcher Monday, and third baseman Mike Moustakas spent a night as the designated hitter. Cheslor Cuthbert drew a start at third base.
“It’s not even precautionary,” Yost said of Perez. “He’s just getting a day. Hammel has been really good with Drew. Long flight, late night, we got in last night. I was thinking about DH’ing him but Moose went hard (on the road trip). Let him have half a day (off).”
Royals recall McCarthy, option Eric Skoglund
The Royals swapped out pitchers Monday afternoon, recalling right-hander Kevin McCarthy from Class AAA Omaha and optioning lefty Eric Skoglund to the same location.
Skoglund made three starts for the Royals, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers before allowing six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings across his next two outings. Left-handed reliever Matt Strahm replaced him in the rotation Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Royals plan to stick with Strahm in the rotation as he builds up his pitch count. That left the club looking for work for Skoglund, who hadn’t pitched since June 9 in San Diego.
“We just don’t want Skoglund sitting there, not pitching,” Yost said. “It doesn’t make any sense. We’ve got long (relief) options.”
The Royals still have eight pitchers in their bullpen. McCarthy recorded 6 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in four outings before being optioned to Omaha on June 7.