Salvy’s injury already puts a damper on 2019

Cody Thorn

Cody Thorn

This year, an injury to Salvador Perez put a damper on the season for myself and many other fans just as soon as it started to feel like baseball season.

I will admit I don’t pay much attention to spring training this early and when it is below freezing here, watching people watching baseball in perfect weather is just cruel to me.

When I got the notification on my phone he was out with an elbow injury my first thought was maybe he got hit with a baseball or got hurt in a collision.

Then, after seeing a Twitter meltdown from a few of my friends, I realized how bad the injury actually was for him and the team. Salvy won’t play this year and will be one of the rare position players in recent years to have to have the famed Tommy John surgery and fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Typically it is an injury you see with pitchers and it is a mix of over use or sometimes a bad arm slot with repetitive throwing.

We learned the last few years when Salvy doesn’t play the team suffers. The backups aren’t nearly as good. I don’t care how good Drew Butera looked with the hair, he couldn’t hit consistently and that is why he was a backup.

For now it appears the team will go forward with Cam Gallagher and rookie Meibrys Viloria as the catcher tandem at least for now. Viloria got called up from Double-A late last year when Salvy was hurt. I only got to see him once but that was coming in the 8th inning of a meaningless game. There was a game I was going to see him start but he apparently overslept and got benched and Gallagher stated — but with his Notorious B.I.G. walkup song, I was OK with that.

When I started thinking about how much Salvy plays and it seemingly is every day — not a good mix for a catcher and a long career. Out of the possible 810 regular season games since 2013, he has played in 689. Add in the postseason runs, that is 31 additional games.

That is a lot of wear and tear. I hope he takes this year and rests and maybe it will give his knees another year or two until he has to find a new position.

Chief concern

I’m still getting over the Chiefs’ loss in the AFC Championship game.

I started feeling a little bit better after the change in a defensive coordinator. It would be great to have an offense both great at the same time. For most of my life the Chiefs had one — good offense or good defense — but not the other.

But my question that came to mind is what can the team do to get better on defense. You need to shore up the secondary and with the change in schemes, going to a 4-3 — four down linemen and three linebackers.

What do you do with Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Dee Ford?

The latter will likely get franchised and he deserved it, even a Super Bowl-crushing offsides call against him. Adam Schefter reported this weekend that the team could be shopping Ford. I didn’t see that happening, especially after rumors the previous weeks about them trading Houston. Ford got tagged with a franchise/transition meaning he could sign elsewhere for two first-round draft picks. His salary next year will be $15.4 million.

Listening to the 4th-and-1 podcast from KSHB I learned something that was a bit staggering. The 2019 salary cap for the Chiefs will have two players — Berry and Houston ­— accounting for 20 percent of the dollars. Honestly, neither one of them will be worth what they do in terms of production if you look at the 2018 numbers. Houston’s deal is for $21.5 million and Berry’s is $16.5 million. It is hard to imagine keeping both of them if it means taking up nearly 40 million in cap space for players past their prime or hurt or both.

But speaking of the Chiefs, I know it has a long time since I wrote a column about them, but I spent the first two playoff games picking against them. I legit thought they would lose to the Colts. Then, when everything I wrote back fired, I had one reader tell me to keep picking against them. Being superstitious when it comes to things like that, I wrote the Patriots would win even though I hoped they didn’t. But, my Patriots-loving column got me probably one of the nicest comments in my 1-plus year here. Courtesy of Mark Ballard: “Cody has reached the pinnacle of his journalism career there at The Citizen. I’ve read high school writers with more talent, yikes.”

Mr. Ballard, you are more than welcome to come write a story or two for us, please email. The address is below.

Screenshots

I usually scroll social media many times a day and every once in a while I will take a screenshot of something I find interesting or something that made me take note of stuff. So here are a few that I will share over the upcoming weeks.

  • There are talks to replace the bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport. But for now, there will be a temporary fix liked there was for the Buck O’Neil Bridge. Though that bridge is hours away, the thought of that work there will have an impact throughout the state. MoDOT doesn’t have the money to replace the bridge after Prop D failed — I voted yes — but noted the importance of replacing it due to condition rating. During a Columbia Chamber of Commerce meeting, a MoDOT representative said when work does start on a rehab in 2020 the 58-year old bridge will have one lane per side and delays on a good day could be three hours in either direction for up to eight hours. This $15 million ‘band-aid’ will take between seven to nine months to complete. That sure makes the thought of going to state wrestling, track and cross country REALLY fun.

  • A state senator from Springfield, Eric Burlison, a Republican, made headlines in his pre-filed bills before taking office. One of his was to revisit the right-to-work proposal. Voters decisively said ‘no’ to that last August. “It’s not about what’s popular. It’s about what’s right,” he told the Associated Press. “And it’s not morally OK to let people lose their liberties simply because of a majority vote.” Let’s see how far it goes. You’d like to think if you vote for something it will happen, but look at the words that came out after the redistricting vote last November, that could change even after voters approved ‘Clean Missouri.’ Governor Mike Parson voiced his displeasure with the Clean Missouri passage and state senator Ed Emery (R-Lamar) has introduced legislation to roll back the provisions in Clean Missouri that makes government more transparent, according to The Pitch.

  • Finally, this time next year there should be a place called T-Shotz located where the Metro North Mall once stood. The venue will be very similar to Top Golf with three-story hitting bays and suites, with two restaurants and a bar and more than 125 TVs to watch. The Metro North Crossing Redevelopment is expected to have a cinema, hotel, multi-family residential, retail and dining.