Catcher Salvy Perez is expected to overrun his allotted bereavement leave, following the death of his maternal grandmother in Venezuela, and not return until next week to the Royals’ lineup. “He’ll be back Monday,” manager Ned Yost said. “He’s going to miss a couple of days’ pay, but his mom is more important. You want to get mad about it, but he’s got his priorities right. He’s got to take care of his mom.”
Major League rules permit players to take bereavement leave lasting from three to seven days with pay. Perez’s leave started last Saturday.
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Backup George Kottaras and Adam Moore, who had been playing at Class AAA Omaha, have split the catching duties in Perez’s absence. Moore started Friday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers.
Perez’s absence has taken a .311 average out of the Royals’ lineup at a time when they are struggling to score runs. He is also regarded as one of the game’s top defensive catchers.
Monday is an open date in the Royals’ schedule, and current plans call for Perez to work out that day at Kauffman Stadium to gauge to readiness to play in Tuesday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Kottaras and Moore, prior to Friday, were a combined one for 19 with two walks in Perez’s absence.
Pedro Grifol joined the Royals prior to Friday’s game in his new role as special assistant coach — actually a special assistant to interim hitting coach George Brett.
“I’ve got to get to know these guys,” Grifol said. “I don’t know these guys at all. Part of coaching is the relationship you build with guys. I’ve got to get to know these guys, see what they like and see whatever George puts in play.
“I’m going to love working with George. I’ve just got to sit down with him and see what he’s looking for. I’m here to assist him.”
Grifol spent the previous 13 years in various roles in the Seattle organization before joining the Royals as the hitting coach for Surprise in the Arizona Rookie League.
Yost said Grifol “is going to be doing legwork. He’s going to be watching the videos and doing the reports. He’s going to allow George to be George.”
The Royals arrived at their hotel, the Four Seasons in Irving, just before 7 a.m. Friday following their marathon night in St. Louis.
Their 4-2 victory over the Cardinals concluded at 3:14 a.m. after a combined 5 hours, 32 minutes of rain delays — one hour before first pitch and 4:32 in the ninth inning after the Royals scored three runs.
A new rule this year threatened to wipe out the lead as the extended deluge moved through St. Louis. That rule — Rule 4.12(b)(4) — applies only when teams are playing for the final time in a season.
In those cases, if a game is called after it is an official game, the score reverts to the previous inning, i.e., the Cardinals would have gained a 2-1 victory.
The Royals praised umpire crew chief Joe West for refusing to call the game despite the long delay.
“I credit Joe West for hanging in there,” Yost said. “I credit their grounds crew for getting the field playable. It worked out.”
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur, whose leadoff homer started the rally, didn’t know how many umpires would have shown West’s determination to finish the game.
West said: “In all cases when it’s the last trip in, the umpires make every effort to get the game played in entirety so that the game itself determines the outcome.”
The victory enabled the Royals to break an eight-game losing streak.
“I don’t know what the rule is on that,” Eric Hosmer said, “but I’m sure they’re going to look into it now because that was definitely one of the crazier nights that any of have had in professional baseball.”
Hosmer’s two-run double broke the 2-2 tie.
Tepesch on tap
Blue Springs native Nick Tepesch, a rookie right-hander who attended Missouri, will face his hometown team for the first time in the regular season Saturday when he starts against James Shields.
Tepesch, 24, is 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts.
The Rangers selected Tepesch in the 14th round of the 2010 draft. He was 19-11 with a 3.77 ERA in 58 games over three minor-league seasons prior to winning a spot this spring on the Rangers’ roster.
Lo-A Lexington shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi ranks third in the latest Prospect Hot Sheet, released Friday by Baseball America.
Mondesi, 17, was nine for 22 over the last week and hit for the cycle in a game against Kannapolis. The Hot Sheet is a weekly ranking of how top prospects are performing at high levels.
“As a 17-year-old in the South Atlantic League,” Baseball America reported, “Mondesi has been erratic, which is to be expected.
“He has a game where he struck out six times and two more where he struck out four times, but the highs have been very impressive. This week he had a two-home run game which he followed the next day by hitting for the cycle.”
The top-ranked prospect in the latest rankings is a familiar name: Class AAA Durham (Tampa Bay) outfielder Wil Myers, who had four homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs over the last week.
Omaha lefty reliever Atahualpa Severino is heading to Pittsburgh in a trade for cash considerations. The Pirates plan to assign him to Class AAA Indianapolis.
Severino, 28, permitted three earned runs in nine innings over six appearances for the Storm Chasers.
The Royals signed Severino to a minor-league contract on Nov. 14, 2012, after he became a free agent following seven seasons in the Nationals’ system.
It was 27 years ago Saturday — June 1, 1986 — that George Brett collected his 200th career homer and 1,000th career RBI in a 5-3 victory over Texas at then-Royals Stadium.
Brett reached both milestones with a leadoff homer in the eighth inning against reliever Mitch Williams. Brett finished his career with 317 homers and 1,596 RBIs. Both are franchise records.