Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

With Salvy out, Butera is valuable backup

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez remained out of the lineup on Sunday with neck stiffness, but the presence of backup catcher Drew Butera is a luxury most teams don't have, manager Ned Yost said.

Yost, a former backup backstop, said Butera is as adept at that role as any catcher he's managed in more than 2,000 games as a skipper.

View Full Game Coverage

ARLINGTON -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez remained out of the lineup on Sunday with neck stiffness, but the presence of backup catcher Drew Butera is a luxury most teams don't have, manager Ned Yost said.

Yost, a former backup backstop, said Butera is as adept at that role as any catcher he's managed in more than 2,000 games as a skipper.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't think I've had one in all my years where you can put him in a game and feel completely confident that he's going to do the job," Yost said. "You're not missing anything without having Salvy back there. [Butera] can catch, he can throw, he calls a great game, he's worked very hard and has improved greatly over the last year with an offense. It is a luxury because there's not a lot of teams that have a backup catcher the caliber that Drew is."

An eight-year veteran, Butera has started three days in a row behind the plate for the first time this season. Offensively, he has seized the opportunity, going 3-for-6 with a double in the Royals' last two losses to the Rangers. Butera broke up Rangers starter Nick Martinez's no-hit bid in the sixth inning on Saturday and entered Sunday's series finale hitting .231 (3-for-13).

Video: KC@TEX: Butera's single ends no-hit bid in the 6th

Meanwhile, Perez could get another day off on Monday against the White Sox in Chicago, Yost said. Perez "slept on it wrong" on Friday night and was eventually pulled from the lineup an hour before Saturday's game.

"He felt it yesterday and went into the cage and was doing his daily drill work that he does, and it started getting stiffer and stiffer and tighter and tighter to the point where he really struggled to turn his neck," Yost said.

Perez is hitting .258 (16-for-62) with five homers and eight RBIs in 16 games this season and is one of only three Royals regulars with a positive number in the offensive Wins Above Replacement category, so Yost hopes to get Perez back in the lineup soon.

"He's better today than he was yesterday ... we're going to give Sal one more day or two more days until he can at least turn his neck comfortably," Yost said.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.

Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez