Kansas City Royals starting catcher Salvador Perez could miss the last two games of the series against the Chicago White Sox with a sore right hand, reports Dick Kaegel of MLB.com.
Royals manager Ned Yost talked about the injury, telling Kaegel:
"Salvy two days ago got jammed real bad on his right hand. He had a couple of swings today that made it worse. It was real sore and real swollen, so it'll probably be a couple of days."
Brett Hayes replaced Perez in the ninth inning last night, and will presumably get the nod tonight. Hayes has started four games this season and has yet to collect a hit in 16 plate appearances.
Perez has been solid at the plate this season, hitting .261/.319/.481 (102 wRC+). He has also contributed as a defender, accumulating 1.1 WAR through 1/4 of the year. The Royals cannot afford to lose Perez for a significant period of time, so let's hope that the injury is as non-threatening as it seems and he is back soon.
Infante may be back this weekend:
Second baseman Omar Infante is eligible to come off the disabled list this Thursday, and could rejoin the Royals over the weekend during their series against the Los Angeles Angels, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Infante has been out with inflammation in his lower back. Yost discussed Infante's progress with McCullough, stating:
"It's not really the rotation (on swings) that bothers him. It's the bending over where he still feels it a little bit, fielding ground balls."
Infante has hit .267/.326/.392 through his first 134 plate appearances while playing above-average defense at second base. Johnny Giavotella has filled in for Infante, batting .176/.216/.265.
Gio (or Pedro Ciriaco) will probably head back to Omaha whenever Infante is ready, although some people will clamor for Mike Moustakas to get sent down instead. Moustakas has also struggled at the plate this season, hitting .153/.225/.323 almost entirely against right-handed pitching.
Despite the incumbent's struggles, there's little reason to expect Gio to be a better option than Moose at third base, especially against RHP. As aggravating as it seems, the Royals best option when Infante gets back appears to be hoping Moustakas can return to merely below-average instead of a trainwreck.
And Now For Something Completely Different.
If the Mets had wanted Myers:
Andy Martino of the New York Daily New talked about an interesting trade offer the New York Mets received from the Kansas City Royals:
The offer #Mets got that I still wouldn't have done is Niese/Wheeler to KC for Wil Myers. Tempting, but two starters is a lot.— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) May 19, 2014
The Royals, of course, sent Wil Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis instead. But what if the Mets had taken Myers (and three other prospects) from KC instead?
Jon Niese is a solid pitcher, but definitely lags behind Shields. The southpaw posted a 3.78 ERA and 3.58 ERA over 24 starts last season, and owns a career 3.89 ERA and 3.69 FIP.
Zack Wheeler would have been the "key to the trade" if this deal would have gone through. Wheeler was a highly touted pitching prospect who had some success in his debut season, but has struggled out of the gate this year. The right-hander has missed bats this season and forced a lot of groundballs, but has battled his command and issued way too many walks.
The Royals would have likely not won 86 games last season with Niese/Wheeler instead of Shields, but would definitely be set up better for the future. Niese has reasonably priced club options through 2018, while Wheeler will not be a free agent until after the 2019 season. A rotation with Yordano Ventura and Wheeler at the top is fun to dream about, and Niese could slot in nicely as a #3 starter.