4/2/2014 1:40 P.M. ET
Yost rates Salvy among MLB's elite catchers
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Salvador Perez, of course, has done much more than go 4-for-4 on Opening Day against the Tigers. At 23, the Royals' catcher has already been an All-Star and won a Gold Glove Award.
No wonder that his manager, Ned Yost, rates him among the best catchers in the game.
"He's the total player," Yost said. "He's offensive, he's defensive, he's got leadership skills. But there are still things that he needs to do to continue to get to the next level. I think he's going to be the best. I don't think there's going to be anybody better than him.
"There's only really one that's better for me right now and that's Yadier Molina. There are guys that are good -- [Buster] Posey's like Sal, he's really good and he's won an MVP. He's in the other league and I don't see him enough, but I've always been impressed with Yady. When Sal came up, I saw so many similarities with Yadier Molina's game when [Molina] first came up."
Perez came into this season with a composite .301 average, 139 RBIs and 81 extra-base hits in his 253 Major League games. Yost sees some room for improvement at the plate.
"He could take a few more walks. What happens with good hitters is they have to learn to take their walks. Prince Fielder, that's what turned the corner for him," Yost said. "When you're swinging at pitchers' pitches in situations, you're not helping yourself, you're not helping your team. But if you're staying in your approach and hitting your pitches, you're going to be far more successful, you're going to be on base more. And any time you get on base more, there's an opportunity to score a run. You can't score a run when you swing at a ball and make an out."
Perez is a good contact hitter, with 110 strikeouts in 933 at-bats coming into this season. But he'd drawn a modest 40 walks.
"It's just plate discipline, he'll grow into it," Yost said. "You can't just sit a guy down and say, 'I want you to take more walks.' They have to learn how to do it. And they do it through experience and do it through time."
A reporter mentioned that Molina, a five-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove Award winner with the Cardinals, sometimes seems to be on another planet.
"Sal can be on that planet, too," Yost said.
Infante feeling pretty good about right elbow
DETROIT -- Royals second baseman Omar Infante prepared for the second game of the season on Wednesday with good vibes about his right elbow.
"I don't feel anything while I'm throwing to first, about 20 balls or something like that," Infante said. "In batting practice, I feel it a little bit, like a pinch, but in the game I feel good."
Infante figures the adrenaline kicked in during Monday's season opener, a 4-3 loss to the Tigers, to mask any discomfort caused by his elbow bone spur.
"I've got two of those things," offered third baseman Mike Moustakas. "It's just from throwing a baseball so much. It just hurts to throw it, but you get used to it after a while. You learn not to throw so much. But he'll be fine. He's been playing this game a lot longer than I have."
Reports from Arizona favorable for Coleman
DETROIT -- What's going on with Royals reliever Louis Coleman, left behind in Arizona with a finger bone bruise on his throwing hand?
"He's throwing side sessions, he felt better," manager Ned Yost said, poring over an injury report and reading aloud: "Harold reported feeling continued minor improvements in his finger. He completed a light pitchers' DTP without any issues. He received his normal therapy with no increase in his symptoms."
The Royals training staff, feeling formal apparently, referred to Louis by his proper name -- Harold Louis Coleman III.
And that "DTP" reference stumped even Yost. He had to ask pitching coach Dave Eiland.
"Daily throwing program," Eiland explained. "Playing catch."
Aha. So Harold's DTPs are going well.
Royals cueing up 'Play It Forward' contest
DETROIT -- The countdown is about to start in the "Play It Forward" contest to select a 2014 sixth-inning sing-along song for Kauffman Stadium.
Over the winter, fans submitted nominations and 32 tracks have been selected for the bracket-style countdown including the previous sing-along, Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places."
During each home game beginning with Friday's opener through June 7, two songs will put up to a vote by text. Fans must be in the ballpark to vote and will be limited to one vote per game.
The winning song at each game will be played in the middle of the sixth inning and advance to the next round.
Fans can go to royals.com/playitforward for a complete list of songs and an updated bracket.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.