Catcher George Kottaras is about to get a short run of consistent playing time.
With starter Salvy Perez out on bereavement leave after the death of his maternal grandmother, Kottaras started at catcher and went zero for two with a walk in the Royals’ 5-2 loss to the Angels on Sunday.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Kottaras would get most of the playing time while Perez was gone. The club also promoted catcher Adam Moore from Class AAA Omaha to serve a reserve role.
“George knows the starting rotation,” Yost said. “Adam will mix in until Salvy gets back.”
Despite batting just .154 in limited playing time, Kottaras has 10 walks in 36 plate appearances. As a result, he entered Sunday with the highest on-base percentage (.394) on the team.
Moore, a right-handed hitter, made his season debut by pinch-hitting for Kottaras against lefty reliever Scott Downs in the eighth. He grounded into a force-out with two runners on.
Perez, 23, was batting .369 in May and is expected to be gone for three to seven days.
“Sal was raised by his mother and grandmother,” Yost said. “And it was heartbreaking yesterday to see him as upset and distraught as he was. But he’s where he needs to be right now. He’s home taking care of his family, and he’ll get through that.”
After a series of umpiring gaffes, the controversy continued in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, when home-plate umpire Marty Foster initially ruled that Jeff Francoeur had struck out with two runners on and the Royals trailing 5-2.
Francoeur pleaded with Foster, arguing that he had fouled the pitch off. After a brief conference with his crew — and apparently some help from second-base umpire Tim Welke — Foster reversed the call.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue and was promptly ejected. So what was Foster’s explanation?
“Tim Welke at second base said he saw the ball foul tipped and go through our catcher’s legs,” Scioscia said.
When asked further about the call, Scioscia told reporters to “look at the replay.”
Royals manager Ned Yost had a different angle on the play, but believed that Foster shouldn't have been able to check with Welke on the play.
"It was a foul ball," Yost said. "I told Marty, he said he didn’t hear it. I said I heard it; he goes ‘Well I’ll check.’ You’re not allowed to check, so Mike was right in a sense. But one of the umpires did see it.”
Duffy throws three scoreless innings
In the midst of another May debacle, here’s a glimmer of good news.
Beginning a minor-league rehab stint for Class AA Northwest Arkansas, left-hander Danny Duffy threw three scoreless at San Antonio on Sunday. Duffy, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last June, allowed two hits while striking out four and walking two. He also had a wild pitch and a hit a batter while throwing 63 pitches.
Rules permit pitchers to remain on minor-league rehab assignments for a maximum of 30 days. After that, the player must be activated or optioned to the minors (barring further injury).
Yost meets with Glass
Royals owner David Glass met with manager Ned Yost in his office on Sunday morning. The conversation lasted close to 30 minutes and, according to Yost, focused on the Royals’ recent form.
“Mr. Glass is tremendous,” Yost said. “Mr. Glass has frustrations like all of us. He wants to win as much or more than any of us. And the great thing about Mr. Glass is, we’re all a team, from Mr. Glass to Dayton to myself to the coaches.
"We’re all a team, and we sit from time to time and talk about frustrations. We talk about our team, we share ideas; it was just a great conversation.”
Memorial Day tribute
The Royals will honor Memorial Day with an Armed Forces Day tribute before Monday's game against the in-state St. Louis Cardinals, which begins at 1:10 p.m.
Raytown native Robert Riley, who served as a tank commander in World War II, will be one of two World War II veterans on hand to throw out the first pitch. Riley, 89, received a Purple Heart for battle injuries and a Bronze Star for saving five men while under enemy fire.
The Royals said there were a limited number of tickets available for Monday’s game, with the first 20,000 fans receiving a miniature American flags, courtesy of the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial.
• Royals Charities and the American Red Cross raised $20,000 for tornado relief efforts in Oklahoma through a 50-50 raffle and cash donations during the Angels series.