Notes: Pitching deep is Perez's focus

Notes: Pitching deep is Perez's focus

KANSAS CITY -- Odalis Perez's season seems to be over and, if he had it to do over, he'd make one significant change.

He'd attempt to make fewer pitches early in a game and, as a result, go deeper into games.

Perez's record of 8-11 was accompanied by a 5.57 ERA. In only three of 26 starts did he work seven innings. In fact, in five of his eight wins Perez pitched only five innings.

Is he satisfied with his season for the Royals?

"You know what? No, I'm not ... but it's not good, it's not bad; it's a so-so year," Perez said.

"But if I could go back to day one, even if I had a losing record, I would have loved to go a lot more innings. I would have thrown fewer pitches [per inning]. I like to be out there pitching."

Only five times did Perez pass the 100-pitch mark this year.

"In Los Angeles, I'd always go 110, 120 pitches and here I don't think I had 10 starts where I went more than 100 pitches. I don't like to be that kind of a pitcher," Perez said.

"I want my manager, my pitching coach, my team to know I want to be able to go out there and give innings. But it didn't happen here."

Perez has been on the disabled list since Aug. 19 with a left knee sprain, suffered during a stretching exercise. The knee has felt good in the last few days, when Perez has thrown off flat ground.

"The doctor told me it will take 10 more days for me to get on the mound," Perez said.

Given that timetable, it's unlikely he would be able to get into game shape before the Royals' last game, which is scheduled on Sept. 30.

No one from the Royals has told him his season is over.

"I haven't heard anything yet, but, from what I see, that's what I expect," Perez said.

His future with the Royals?

"I like the way this team is coming along [with] the progress the team has made since last year ... I'd like to be part of this team," he said.

Few calls for callups: First baseman Craig Brazell, outfielder Justin Huber and catcher Paul Phillips were September callups, but will they ever be in the starting lineup?

"I don't know ... probably not," manager Buddy Bell said.

"They're just up here to fill in when we need them. But with [Mike] Sweeney, [Billy] Butler, [Ross] Gload -- even [Shane] Costa is a guy we'd like to see more of. We've got quite a few guys right now that we want to see play," Bell said.

"We want to see [David] DeJesus end up good, [Mark] Teahen and [Joey] Gathright. These guys still have to play a full season. I want them to be able to understand that and feel that."

Through Sunday, after five games on the roster, Brazell had pinch-hit once (he walked), Huber pinch-ran once and Phillips had not played.

The called-up pitchers have seen more action. Neal Musser, who arrived Sept. 1, pitched in three games. Luke Hochevar, who came with the three position players on Sept. 4, made his debut on Sunday with three innings against the Yankees.

Learning endurance: Bell knows that his younger players, not used to the longer season of the Major Leagues compared to the Minors, are wearing down. But he wants to keep them going.

"I think a lot of them are tired right now, probably more mentally than physically. But one of these years, they're going to be in the playoffs and they're going to playing into October. That'll revive them, to be sure, but they've got to go through it," Bell said.

The Minors teach players a great deal, but some things can be learned only in the Majors.

"It's not the same. The Minor League season is not even close to the intensity of what they have to deal with on a daily basis. It's good for them. The Yankees series was a downer but, at the same time, I think it's important that these guys play those kind of games in September because it's something they're going to have to experience the longer they play," Bell said.

Bunts: Idaho Falls was eliminated from the Pioneer League playoffs on Sunday by Orem, 3-0. Orem, an Angels Rookie club, advanced to the final round. The Chukars had just 11 hits in the two losses; top Draft choice Mike Moustakas was 0-for-7. ... On this date in 1969, the Royals' first season, manager Joe Gordon used 27 players in an 11-4 loss at Anaheim. At the time, that was a Major League record. ... Teahen's 14 outfield assists are three from the Royals' record, 17 by Jermaine Dye in 1999.

In Buck's seat: Henry Kupfer of Kansas City, Mo., was in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat on Monday night. Kupfer, 89, was first exempted from World War II military service, but insisted on a second ruling which allowed him to serve. He donates many hours at area schools sharing his stories in the Kiwanis Terrific Kids and High School Key Club programs.

Coming up: Scott Baker, who took a perfect game into the ninth inning the last time he faced the Royals, will start for Minnesota at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Kyle Davies will start for the Royals.

The Royals will salute "uniformed heroes" by offering a free ticket to the game and honoring them in pregame ceremonies. Tickets are available at Kauffman Stadium ticket windows, with proper identification, to local military, police, fire and emergency personnel.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.