Royals catcher Salvador Perez was lifted from Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the Padres after taking a pitch off his batting helmet. He laid on the ground for over a minute in what looked like a potentially serious situation, but the early updates out of Arizona have been promising.
A club trainer told Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that the pitch struck Perez near the back of his left ear and deemed it a “non-concussive head impact.” The Royals may run some tests to be sure, but it sounds as though their star 23-year-old catcher will be ready for the start of the 2014 regular season.
Perez, for what it’s worth, said after Wednesday’s game that he felt “fine.”
He batted .292/.323/.433 with 13 home runs and 79 RBI in 138 games last season.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.