Both Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic team and the Kansas City Royals had a scare Saturday in WBC action. On a play that tied the game for Italy in the ninth inning, Italy actually went for the walk-off win, but Drew Butera was thrown out at home to send the game to extra innings.
On the play at the plate, Venezuela catcher Salvador Perez took a shot to the knee that caused him to leave the game. He needed help getting off the field and down to the clubhouse.
In a press release late Saturday night, it was noted that Perez suffered only inflammation in his knee and there was no structural damage. So disaster was avoided for the Royals. He won’t, however, be moving forward with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
Needless to say, this goes beyond the scope of the World Baseball Classic. Perez is a valuable member of the Royals and he carries one of the heaviest behind-the-plate loads in baseball, having logged at least 126 starts and 1,100 innings at catcher in each of the past four seasons.
Oh, by the way, guess who is Perez’s backup on the Royals? Drew Butera.
Cue the baseless conspiracy theories that just got a lot more fun now that Perez isn’t seriously hurt.