The Kansas City Royals took a big hit to their youthful exuberance early in 2012 with the announcement yesterday that Salvador Perez was going to have surgery after tearing cartilage in his knee. He should be on the shelf for several weeks, which means the Royals will open the season with their back-up catcher running the show. Brayan Pena says he's sad for Perez, but ready for the sake of the team.
"I knew from the beginning that this was his team, and I was ready to back him up," Pena said. "It's unfortunate that this injury happened, but me personally, I'm ready. I feel I know these guys on our pitching staff. I've been working with them the last couple of years, and I feel right now that we're going to be very good. With our bullpen and [Bruce] Chen, [Luke] Hochevar and [Jonathan] Sanchez, I think we're going to be good and we'll try to hold on until the big man comes back."
Dayton Moore, the team's general manager also spoke highly, not only of Perez as he was injured but of Pena as he takes over the regular catcher duties.
"Brayan Pena has emerged as someone who is better than just a backup. He gives you good at-bats and a lot of energy. We felt we had a real good catching tandem with Salvy and Brayan as it was," Moore said. "Right now Brayan Pena is the guy, but we need to come up with somebody to go with him."
Perez's timetable for return is currently unknown.