SURPRISE, Ariz. -- All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, who injured his left knee in a collision with Royals teammate Andrew Butera in a World Baseball Classic game Saturday, was expected to return to Arizona sometime late Monday.Perez had to be helped off the field Saturday, but an MRI that night revealed
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, who injured his left knee in a collision with Royals teammate Andrew Butera in a World Baseball Classic game Saturday, was expected to return to Arizona sometime late Monday.
Perez had to be helped off the field Saturday, but an MRI that night revealed only inflammation in the knee and no structural damage.
• Spring Training:Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear
Perez, who will not play for Venezuela any more in the Classic this spring, originally was scheduled to be back at Royals camp Sunday night.
"The doctors didn't want him flying right away," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "There might be a little fluid on his knee. They wanted to give him a day for that to settle down."
Perez is expected to have a second MRI on Tuesday. The Royals' medical staff wants the second MRI as confirmation there are no lingering issues with Perez's knee.
"They're very cautious until they get their hands on him," Yost said. "It's all 95 percent positive, but they want to get their hands on him before they release that other five percent [that he's OK]."
Minor league awards
The Royals issued their annual Minor League awards Monday morning in a ceremony on the practice fields.
Right-hander Jake Junis won the Paul Splittorff Award as the top Minor League pitcher in the organization. He went 9-7 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with a 3.25 ERA.
Outfielder Nick Heath, a 16th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, won the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year Award. He had 36 steals in the Pioneer League.
Right-hander Yender Caramo won the Carlos Fortuna Award as the player who most improved his English. Caramo, 25, remains in the Royals' big league camp and has impressed Royals coaches with a 0.00 ERA in five appearances.
Outfielder Logan Moon won the Mike Sweeney Award as the player who best represents the organization on and off the field.
Infielder/outfielder Hunter Dozier won the George Brett Hitter of the Year Award. Dozier, 25, slashed a .296/.366/.533 line between Omaha (Triple-A) and Northwest Arkansas (Double-A), setting career highs in runs (79), hits (144), doubles (44), home runs (23) and RBIs (75) in 2016.
Catcher Cameron Gallagher won the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award. Gallagher, 24, led Texas League catchers in total chances (713), putouts (648), assists (62), double plays (nine) and caught-stealing percentage (.476, 30 of 63 would-be basestealers).
Northwest Arkansas general manager Justin Cole won the Matt Minker Award as the outstanding Minor League affiliate employee.
Northwest Arkansas manager Vance Wilson won the Dick Howser Award as the organization's most outstanding player development person.
And finally, Special Assignment scout Mitch Webster won the Art Stewart Award as the organization's most outstanding scout.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.