NEW YORK -- The Royals summoned catcher Brett Hayes from Triple-A Omaha on Sunday to take the roster spot vacated by Salvador Perez. Hayes brought with him different mask protection.
Perez sustained a low-grade concussion when a foul ball banged his mask on Saturday, and he's been rattled by a number of blows this season. Hayes favors the protective and colorful helmet-type gear that some catchers have gone to in the last several years.
"I use the one-piece hockey mask," Hayes said. "They used to be really heavy, and about two years they came out with a lighter version. They're not as light as the two-piece like Salvy wears, but I like it because it has better visibility and I feel like it takes a blow a little better. That's why I switched. And it protects you against back swings -- you see guys get hit all the time."
Considering Perez's problems with his mask, the Royals might consider alternative gear for him.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.