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Game thread CXXXIV: Royals at Tigers

Salvador Perez gets an entire day off

Salvador Perez walks off the field after being hit on the hand by a pitch Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Catcher Salvador Perez was hit on the hand with a pitch last night. The X-Rays were negative. However, he’s still considered day-to-day with a contusion. Somehow that actually resulted in the big veteran getting a rare entire day off without being in the IL. Too bad the Royals apparently can only replace him with Ryan O’Hearn.

Listen, I don’t dislike Ryan O’Hearn. And, in fact, I suspect if I ever met him I’d really like him. He seems like a quiet, friendly kind of guy who happens to be incredibly strong and one of a mere handful of the best baseball players in the world. If I was three-quarters as good at anything as Ryan O’Hearn is at baseball, I’d have to consider myself an incredibly fortunate individual. Sometimes I worry when we all rag on him so much, and on the organization for playing him, that he might read that stuff and take it personally. It makes me want to say nice things about him. It frustrates me that there is very little nice to say about his presence in the Kansas City Royals lineup.

In any case, Jonathan Heasley will take the mound for KC tonight. He is rapidly approaching O’Hearn/Jeremy Guthrie territory where the only reasonable take is to wonder why he’s still on the Royals’ roster regardless of what manner of human being he might be. He’s been worth -0.5 fWAR in 14 starts for KC this season. He has a 5.22 ERA and a 5.98 FIP. Only four of his starts have resulted in so little as a quality start. The last one was on July 4, when he went six innings, allowing one earned run and striking out only three while walking two. Maybe they could give him a shot in the bullpen? Starting does not appear to be in the cards for him.

On the other side, the Tigers will call on Michael Pineda. Pineda is a long way from his days as a young up-and-comer with the Yankees. Unfortunately, he never realized most of the promise he showed in his younger years. At age 33, he has a 5.27 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers and has missed significant chunks of time to injury. He has only one quality start all season and has given up two or more runs in every start except his first and an injury-shortened outing in the middle of May.