Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is headed for Tommy John surgery and out for the season. New York Yankees ace Luis Severino is shut down, too — at least through opening day.
Hours after Severino stopped warming up in the bullpen because of an inflamed right shoulder, the Royals announced more damaging news Tuesday: Perez will have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow, keeping the six-time All-Star off the field for the entire year.
Perez hurt the elbow during a workout last week and said over the weekend that he was harbouring a slim hope he might be able to play through it. Instead, he is expected to undergo surgery Wednesday.
"There was nothing that can prepare us for this. There was no information we had that led us this direction," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "Salvy was having no issues. He's asymptomatic. He has wear and tear, just like any 28-year-old catcher who's been squatting and catching since he was 12 years old. There was no warning sign or anything like that."
Perez hit just .235 last season but had 27 homers and 80 RBIs while providing a solid and calming presence behind the plate. The MVP of the 2015 World Series was being counted upon to help the rebuilding Royals take the steps necessary to return to the playoffs, particularly when it came to their young but promising rotation.
Now, Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria are expected to share time behind the plate.
The Yankees will rework their rotation while Severino recovers. He was loosening up for his first spring training start when he felt something wrong as he threw his first slider. He won't throw for two weeks, manager Aaron Boone said after a 5-1 win over Atlanta.
"Obviously, anytime a starting pitcher and a guy like Sevie walks off while he's warming up to start a game, you always get worried and concerned about that," Boone said. "But it sounds like the shoulder is pretty clean, it's just the inflammation issue. So if that's the case, then hopefully two weeks is something that will do the trick, then he can start ramping back up with his throwing program, but we'll re-evaluate it also at the same time."
The Yankees open at home on March 28 against Baltimore.
Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ are also projected to be in the Yankees' rotation. Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German are possible short-term replacements for Severino.
Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez remain available as free agents.
Severino agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract before this season. The 25-year-old right-hander is a two-time All-Star. He went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year.
FROM AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
PHILLIES 2, CARDINALS 1
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty struck out seven batters in a row and fanned nine over four innings. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up singles to Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto to open the second inning, then fanned the next seven until Hoskins hit a tapper back to the mound.
After signing a four-year, $45 million contract extension, Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola made his spring debut and worked three innings of one-hit ball.
RED SOX 8, NATIONALS 4
Washington star Max Scherzer retired the first nine hitters in order, then let seven of the first eight batters in the fourth inning reach base, ending his outing.
Blake Swihart had two hits for Boston and Tzu-Wei Lin homered.
PIRATES 10, ORIOLES 4
Chris Archer pitched two hitless innings in his spring debut, striking out four for Pittsburgh. It was his first game action since undergoing a hernia surgery in November. Josh Bell hit a three-run homer for the Pirates.
Alex Cobb worked three innings for Baltimore, allowing two hits.
BLUE JAYS 5, TIGERS 2
Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also connected for Toronto.
Detroit starter Matt Moore allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in three innings.
TWINS 9, RAYS 2
Eddie Rosario hit a grand slam in an eight-run first inning for Minnesota. Jake Odorizzi pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out four and Michael Pineda gave up a hit in his two innings.
Tampa Bay starter Adam Kolarek was hit hard.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will likely miss the first month of the regular season, following another procedure to repair a severe cut above the heel on his right foot. The gash he suffered Jan. 26 in his native Dominican Republic when he slipped on some metal stairs on a stage during his team's winter league championship celebration hasn't healed as expected.
YANKEES 5, BRAVES 1
Aaron Judge homered, doubled and drove in three runs for the Yankees. Atlanta starter Kyle Wright threw three shutout innings.
MARLINS 3, METS 1
Miami starter Sandy Alcantara worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings. New Mets closer Edwin Diaz struck out two in an inning.
INDIANS 11, WHITE SOX (SS) 0
Leonys Martin hit his second home run of the spring and Carlos Santana hit his third for Cleveland. Adam Plutko gave up one hit over 3 2/3 innings in the start.
ATHLETICS 4, RANGERS 1
Dustin Fowler homered and Jurickson Profar hit a two-run single for Oakland. Joakim Soria struck out three in an inning of relief.
Texas starter Drew Smyly struck out three over two hitless innings. Jason Hammel followed with two hitless innings.
ANGELS 9, CUBS 2
Mike Trout hit a three-run homer and Kole Calhoun also homered for Los Angeles.
Addison Russell hit two doubles for Chicago. Willson Contreras also doubled, and circled the bases when Trout kicked the ball in centre field while trying to pick it up, sending it rolling along the warning track toward right.
BREWERS 1, ROCKIES 0
Corbin Burnes gave up three hits and fanned four in a three-inning start for Milwaukee.
Colorado starter Chad Bettis worked 2 2/3 shutout innings and struck out four.
MARINERS 7, PADRES (SS) 7, 9 INNINGS
Seattle starter Mike Leake was tagged for eight hits, including home runs by Francisco Mejia and Manuel Margot, in 3 2/3 innings.
PADRES (SS) 7, WHITE SOX (SS) 4
Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run homer for Chicago. Michael Gettys had two doubles for San Diego.
ROYALS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3
Whit Merrifield hit a triple and walked twice for Kansas City, which took advantage of a throwing error by second baseman Wilmer Flores. Jorge Soler had an RBI single and Chris Owings doubled home a run against his former team.
Jake Lamb delivered an RBI double for Arizona, and Ketel Marte had two hits. Archie Bradley struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief.
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