Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been sidelined after suffering a right elbow injury at a team workout on Wednesday, the club confirmed on Friday. Perez is reportedly expected to undergo Tommy John surgery next week after an MRI on Thursday revealed damage to his UCL, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
The six-time All-Star will likely be out of Kansas City's lineup until 2020.
Perez has been an integral part of the Royals' lineup since 2011. He's been named an All-Star each year from 2012-18, tallying five Gold Gloves in the last six seasons. Perez hit four home runs in the Royals' postseason run to the 2015 World Series.
Perez tied his career-high in home runs and RBI in 2018. He led the Royals with 27 dingers and 80 RBI despite hitting a career-worst .235. Perez has three years and $36 million remaining on his contract.
Kansas City finished last in the AL Central in 2018 at 58–104. The Royals have not reached the postseason since 2015.