Chris Perez hopes to be back for Indians’ opener
Cleveland All-Star closer Chris Perez hopes to recover from a
shoulder injury in time for the Indians’ April 2 opener at
Perez was diagnosed Friday with a strained muscle in his right
shoulder, an injury that could sideline him for a month.
”The way it feels, just moving around, it gets better every
day,” Perez said Saturday.
Perez pitched an inning Tuesday during a 4-1 loss to Kansas City
and felt pain in the shoulder Thursday. The right-hander said the
injury is not as serious as the strain he suffered last spring to a
muscle on his left side in his first bullpen session on Feb 23.
He made it back for the opener, when he allowed three runs in
the ninth against Toronto in a game the Blue Jays won in 16
”I was more concerned last year,” said Perez, a 2011 and 2012
All-Star who saved 39 games in 43 chances last season. ”I think
that if this was regular season, I could have managed it. But this
is spring training. It’s early. We’re playing this a lot slower
than we would if it was July and we were in the middle of the
Indians manager Terry Francona didn’t want to set a timetable
for Perez’s return.
”Is it on opening day? We’ll see,” Francona said. ”If he’s a
week late, he’s a week late. That’s the way it goes.”
Perez, who has 98 saves during the last three seasons, is
frustrated he had to withdraw from the U.S. team headed to the
World Baseball Classic.
”The WBC is important. To this point, it’s the biggest honor in
my career,” he said. ”Yeah, it’s disappointing, but it would have
been a lot worse if I had pitched and then been out for three or