After throwing 24 pitches in a simulated game, Royals reliever Tim Collins reported no signs of lingering soreness with the flexor strain in his left elbow. He could be sent on a rehabilitation assignment in the minors this weekend.
Collins pitched before Tuesday’s game against Cleveland. Pitching coach Dave Eiland was reticent about discussing Collins’ upcoming schedule, as his next stop depends on how he feels Wednesday morning. But Collins sounded optimistic.
“If it was up to me, I’m ready right now,” Collins said. “Obviously there’s a progression that they want me to stick to. And I understand why they’re doing it. Like I said, if they wanted me in a game today, I’d be ready.”
Collins was eligible to leave the disabled list on Tuesday. General manager Dayton Moore indicated Collins was still a few weeks away from a return, but on-field personnel hope he’ll come back sooner.
“He looked good,” Eiland said. “He looked like he’s really close to getting ready to go.”
Collins faced nine batters this season, and walked four of them. His injury prevented him from warming up with ease. Once in the game, he said, “it would almost tighten up instantaneously. I just couldn’t maintain staying warm coming out of the bullpen.”
He was shut down for a week. The symptoms have gone away. “I just needed that time off,” he said.
Francisley Bueno (bruised left pinky) was unable to pitch in a simulated game. But he did throw a bullpen session, Eiland said. Collins is considered closer to a return than Bueno.Perez keeps going
Catcher Salvador Perez remained in the starting lineup on Tuesday, and before the game general manager Dayton Moore joked Perez was on pace to catch all 162 games this season.
That will not happen, of course, although the team does expect Perez to catch an overwhelming majority of games this year. He has yet to receive a day off. Brett Hayes could get his first start this week. After a night game on Wednesday, the team plays a day game on Thursday. A similar day-night split occurs on Saturday and Sunday in Baltimore.
Moore stressed that he trusted manager Ned Yost, bench coach Don Wakamatsu, the club’s training staff and Perez himself to keep the catcher healthy.
Moore indicated there was no limit for how many games Perez could play in a season. He leaves that up to on-field personnel.