Kansas City Royals captain Salvador Perez is back in the lineup. The veteran catcher will serve as the Royals’ designated hitter Sunday afternoon in Houston.
Perez missed the last week due to a mild concussion. He sustained the injury in a game against the Astros on Sept. 16 at Kauffman Stadium. Perez exited that game after being struck by a foul tip that ricocheted off his face mask.
The Royals reinstated Perez from the seven-day concussion injured list on Sunday. In a corresponding move, they optioned backup catcher Tyler Cropley to Triple-A Omaha.
“Every time something happens with your brain, it’s kind of scary,” Perez said. “That day, you feel a little dizzy. I appreciate (Yordan) Alvarez and I don’t remember who was behind home plate.”
The day he was hurt, Perez initially received attention from the Royals’ training staff. He stayed in the game and caught a few more pitches.
Perez didn’t look right, however, and Alvarez alerted the Royals’ staff to evaluate him further.
“I wanted to keep going and Alvarez was like, ‘Salvy, you don’t look alright,’” Perez recalled. “I was like, ‘Come on and get in the box.’ They told me don’t play with the brain. It’s super-hard and just be careful and take care of yourself.
“I appreciate Alvarez to say that. I was kind of dizzy at that time. If I get another foul tip or something like that, it could’ve been worse.”
Perez’s return is another boost for the red-hot Royals lineup. He will bat third behind shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
This season, Perez is hitting .252 with 21 home runs and 72 RBIs.
“We are happy to have him back,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He had a week off, so maybe he will be a little bit faster and steal a base or something to catch them off-guard.”
The Royals have won nine of their last 10 games. They entered Sunday’s series finale looking to sweep the Astros and avoid becoming the worst team, record-wise, in club history. The Royals remain four losses shy of tying the franchise mark for most losses in a season.