KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been a little over a month since Major League Baseball delayed the start of the season due to an ongoing pandemic.
And although league owners have proposed for play to start in July, that still would mean nearly two more months without baseball.
For Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, the delayed season is a curse in some ways and a blessing in another.
Perez missed the entire 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow and hasn’t played in an MLB game since September 2018.
He had just become a full participant in Spring Training when the season was delayed, so he’ll have to wait a little longer to finally make his return.
But that extra time could be a good thing, as Perez was advised that the more time he could have off following his surgery, the better his elbow would heal.
“The more time I can wait to be back in the game, to be behind home plate, the better I’m going to get,” Perez said in a Zoom call Wednesday.
“I don’t know what’s happening right now with baseball (if I’ll get) the opportunity to play … but at the same time I thank God for giving me the time to get better.”
While the extra time off will help his recovery from surgery, Perez was still devastated when the season was delayed.
Even though he knows he could use the time off, all he wants to do is play baseball.
“It’s terrible,” Perez said when asked about his reaction to the season getting delayed. “It kind of felt like when they told me I had to get the Tommy John (surgery). I waited a year and a half (to play).”
Despite the frustration he felt when he heard the season was delayed, Perez feels he must put that aside in order to be prepared for the start of the season — whenever it may be.
That won’t be easy though, as his enthusiasm for the game has made him anxious to get back to baseball.
“I think it’s kind of a little bit (harder) for me because I missed last year, but at the same time I’ve got to stay focused, try to keep (my body) in shape, try to prepare myself and be ready when they call me.”