9/1/2014 3:06 A.M. ET
Perez's control of running game earns high praise
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- When lightning strikes from Salvador Perez's arm, opposing baserunners feel the bolt. Or the tag.
That's happened 19 times this season to would-be base thieves who have challenged the Royals' catcher, including one in each of the three games leading up to Sunday's series finale against the Indians. Perez gets off his throws quickly and with precision.
"Lightning quick," said manager Ned Yost. "Good lower half, good short release, good accurate arm with strength."
Perez's throwing time, glove to glove, to second base has been clocked at 1.83 seconds, and he usually hits about 1.9, as contrasted with the Major League average of 2.0, according to Yost.
"I don't worry about my time, I just worry about throwing the guy out," Perez said.
It's a natural ability sharpened by daily work with Pedro Grifol, the Royals' catching coach.
"I have to work a lot on that with Pedro." Perez said. "Every day, before the game, we work on little moves to get loose. I don't actually make the throws to second base, just the moves."
Perez's 19 throwouts give him 30.2 percent efficiency, although the 63 attempts also include stolen bases affected by errant pitches or plays in which a throw isn't even made. But 30 percent is considered a very good percentage for all the flaws inherent in the statistic.
Indians runners didn't have to contend with the Perez arm on Sunday night. He was in the lineup as designated hitter.
Grifol works with Perez on transferring the ball cleanly, staying quick on his feet, repeating the actions so he doesn't get stale after going three or four games without a runner attempting a steal.
Has Grifol seen other catchers as quick on the throw?
"I think they're out there, but I don't think I've ever seen a guy that size that quick and that accurate," Grifol said. "It's a combination of quickness, arm strength and accuracy, which is what makes him great. He's got all three, and he combines them good and he's 250 pounds. So he's really a freak.
"But what I like about him is he's smart, he loves to work and he wants to be great. And he knows that being great is not going to happen by just going out there and playing. He works at it, he works at being great, which makes it that much more fun to be around him and work with him."
Perez often guns his throws from his knees, a move that he also works on.
"If the pitch is down and away, I think it's quicker if I go down on my knees. It works pretty good," Perez said.
Works splendidly, according to Yost.
"It's just getting rid of it. Velocity is exactly the same and his accuracy is not affected by it," Yost said.
Perez is also a video hawk, doing a lot of homework in front of a screen.
"I watch a lot of video from [the Cardinals' Yadier] Molina," he said. "You can learn from the best guy in the Majors, right?"
Former Detroit manager Jim Leyland has become a Perez fan. While comparing current catchers with former star Ivan Rodriguez recently, Leyland said:
"Salvador Perez is unbelievable, and [Matt] Wieters from Baltimore is really good. But Salvador Perez from Kansas City is absolutely fantastic. I think if you're looking for somebody that's just totally lights-out, Salvador Perez is the big dog right now. He's the Pudge Rodriguez of [today]."
Royals to add three as September callups
KANSAS CITY -- A left-handed reliever, an outfielder and a pinch-runner are September callups headed to the Royals.
Left-hander Brandon Finnegan and outfielders Lane Adams and Terrance Gore were involved in roster moves announced by the Royals on Sunday.
Finnegan, 21, was the Royals' first-round selection in this year's First-Year Player Draft out of TCU and is the No. 6-ranked prospect in the Royals' system, according to MLB.com.
After signing, Finnegan made five starts for Class A Wilmington and was 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. Then he was moved to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to work in relief, preparing for a possible callup, and was 0-3 with a 2.25 ERA in eight games.
For both teams, Finnegan appeared in 13 games and had a 1.33 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just four walks in 27 1/3 innings.
Adams, 24, was a ninth-round pick in the 2009 Draft. For Northwest Arkansas this season, he hit .269 with 25 doubles, 11 homers, 36 RBIs and 65 runs in 105 games. He was named to the Texas League postseason All-Star team.
Last year, Adams won the George Brett Hitter of the Year Award in the Royals' system. He was in the Major League Spring Training prior to this season.
Gore, 23, spent most of the season with Wilmington, hitting .218 but with 36 stolen bases in 40 attempts. Promoted to Triple-A Omaha, he hit .250 in 17 games and swiped 11 bases in 14 tries.
With Jarrod Dyson available less often as a pinch-runner because of increased outfield duty, the swift Gore would be available for that role off the bench.
Gore was transferred from the Omaha roster to Northwest Arkansas, and all three players were to be added to the Royals' roster after Sunday night's game against the Indians.
Also due to return to the Kansas City roster from Northwest Arkansas on Tuesday are pitchers Aaron Crow and Liam Hendriks and infielder Christian Colon.
Hosmer homers as Omaha clinches division title
KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer's stay in Omaha can continue if the Royals want him to continue his injury rehab stay.
The Storm Chasers clinched their fourth straight division title on Sunday night with a 13-8 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Hosmer, in his second game for Omaha, belted a solo home run in the fifth inning for his only hit in four at-bats. He also walked once and is now 3-for-10 (.300) as he tests his injured right hand.
The Storm Chasers are to finish their regular season on Monday, then meet Memphis in the first game of the best-of-five American Conference finals at 7:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday in Omaha.
If the Royals feel Hosmer needs more at-bats, he could be in the Storm Chasers' lineup for that game.
Royals announce instructional league rosters
KANSAS CITY -- Nine players from the Royals' Top 20 prospects, as ranked by MLB.com, are included on the rosters for the Arizona instructional league, which begins play in two weeks.
The Nos. 1-2-3-ranked players -- shortstop Raul Mondesi, right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer and left-hander Sean Manaea, in that order -- will be on the advanced team at Surprise, Ariz.
Also assigned to the advanced squad are No. 16, outfielder Elier Hernandez; No. 18, second baseman-third baseman Ramon Torres; and No. 20, left-handed pitcher Cody Reed.
The 9-10-11-ranked players were assigned to the regular roster. In order, they are right-hander Foster Griffin, catcher Chase Vallot and right-hander Scott Blewett. All three were chosen in this past June's First-Year Player Draft.
The players will begin workouts on Sept. 15 and games will be played Sept. 22 to Oct. 17. Brian Buchanan will manage the advanced team and Darryl Kennedy the regular team.
A total of 68 Royals Minor Leaguers have been assigned to the instructional league rosters.
Yost: Fans for Indians series were 'unbelievable'
KANSAS CITY -- Sunday night's game that drew 39,009 fans was the third sellout of the season at Kauffman Stadium.
The other sellouts were for the home opener against the White Sox on April 4 (40,103) and the June 20 game against the Mariners (38,475).
The Royals lost both those games. And they also lost the first two games of the Indians series in front of crowds of 31,341 and 35,089. So manager Ned Yost was hoping for a better showing on Sunday night, but the game was suspended because of rain in the 10th inning with the Indians leading, 4-2.
"The crowds were phenomenal. Being happy can't even explain the way that I felt about our fans these three games," Yost said. "It was unbelievable."
• The Royals' last previous suspended game was June 15-16, 2001, at Milwaukee due to a power outage at Miller Park.
• Wade Davis' scoreless ninth inning on Sunday night gave him 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, a record for a Royals relief pitcher. The old mark was 26 innings by current teammate Louis Coleman.
• Kelvin Herrera's 1 1/3 innings gave him a scoreless streak of 25 2/3 innings, the second-longest active streak in the Majors to Davis'.
• Alex Gordon's home run was the 120th of his career, passing Steve Balboni into 10th place all-time for the Royals. Next is Carlos Beltran's 123.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.