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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.