Perez out at least three months
Update 10:32 An obviously disappointed OF Fernando Perez, out at least three months with a dislocated left wrist, tried to take the setback in stride, but said he learned a valuable lesson in the process.
Perez said he knew instantly he'd be out for a while when his glove caught on the turf while trying to make a diving catch Tuesday - a play he said he usually makes about once a month. Perez said his glove has "never, ever" caught on the turf, but he's been recently using a longer glove. That 1/4-1/2 inch could have cost him three months.
Perez, who said he's a big believer in, "If you get hurt, it's your fault," didn't want to let the team down, especially with CF B.J. Upton already trying to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. Perez would have been Upton's likely replacement in center if Upton isn't ready.
"I think a lot of things like that happen in life when you’re really feeling good, something has got to give," Perez said. "I felt really good and was shaping up to be an exciting spring and all of that. But I learned a lesson. Its something I wont let happen again."
Perez said he'll be in a cast for six weeks, and slowly work his way back, likely not being able to do any baseball activities for two months. He said a dislocation is actually "worse" than a clean break. "If I would have broken it here, I could have put a plate here and been back in a month."
"It wasn’t anything super reckless - it’s a play that I usually make," Perez said. "Around here, we reinforce this idea that I already have- spring training isn't any different, the ball has got to get caught and we’re practicing playing at a high level. Obviously if I would have just came in and let that one drop like I was a 15 year veteran, we wouldn't be in this position. But that's not the way I'm accustomed to playing."
Perez tried to take it in stride, opening an interview about the injury Thursday with this:
"It's the web gem tax," Perez said. "Sometimes somebody's gonna have to pay it. I had to pay it."
OF Fernando Perez has a dislocated left wrist and will be out at least three months, manager Joe Maddon said.
"It's unfortunate," Maddon said. "Obviously he's very disappointed, he’s really coming on as a young player so it's difficult. But it could have been worse, obviously, so three months we can live with that. And we’ll take it from there."
Perez suffered the injury in Tuesday's game against the Jays, trying to make a diving catch on a liner to shallow right-center.
As for the impact on the Rays opening day roster, Maddon said Perez "probably would have played" in centerfield to open the season if CF B.J. Upton were not ready to return from offseason left shoulder surgery. Now, Maddon said Perez's absence gives other players opportunities to get out there.
"Now we've Got Gabe (Kapler) out there, going to get Ben Zobrist out there," Maddon said. "It just gives some other people opportunities out there in case something else were to happen. That’s the impact."