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Salvador Perez to undergo thumb surgery, expected to return this season

All-Star catcher will be sidelined for the Royals and is on the injured list.

Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals sits in the dugout before the game the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 21, 2022 in Anaheim, California. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Kansas City Royals C Salvador Perez will undergo thumb surgery and is expected to return at some point this season, the team announced on Friday afternoon.

The injury to Perez takes out the Royals' top player from their lineup, but this hasn’t been a great season for him. Salvy is beloved by fans, but there isn’t much more that can be said other than he is batting a career-low .211 while leading the team in home runs. He hasn’t been given a timetable for return other than that he is expected back before the end of the year. Further testing will likely help to nail down a timeline as we get into next week.

With Perez sidelined, Kansas City is going to get a more clear look at their future behind the plate. MJ Melendez has played 43 games in the majors this year and is listed as a catcher as his primary position. To get his bat in the lineup, they have DH’d him and stuck him in the outfield. Melendez is hitting .234 with seven doubles, a triple, six home runs and 17 RBIs.

Splitting time with Melendez behind the plate will likely be Cam Callagher and Sebastian Rivero who have played in fewer than 10 games this season at the major league level.