KANSAS CITY -- Every kid wants to have lunch with a Major League player. Even other baseball players.
Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia of the Blue Jays had the opportunity to eat lunch with Hall of Famer George Brett in the afternoon before Saturday's game with the Royals.
Brett was a roommate of current Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez when they played in Kansas City, and the two former players treated the young players to a meal and memories.
"It was fantastic," Lawrie said. "It was good. It was a chance for J.P. and myself to kind of reach back from a legend and just kind of talk to him and see what he was about. I've heard a couple times that I kind of play like [Brett did]. It was just good to talk with a guy that's been around the game for such a long time."
Comparisons have been made between the Brett and Lawrie, the Blue Jays' third baseman. Some of those stem from their shared hustle.
"We talked about that a lot today, that every ground ball he hit to second base, he wanted to beat it out every time," Lawrie said. "And that's how I play the game, too. Every time I hit a ground ball I have that thought in the back of my mind that there's a chance. Not only to start an inning off, but to help my teammates in general. I think that running a ground ball out shows a lot of respect. ... I go 100 miles an hour just like he did, and I respect the game that way."
Manager John Farrell said the experience was a great one for the young players.
"When you look around, I think there are certain players over the course of their career that almost became caretakers of the game. I think when you think of George Brett, not only is he a Hall of Famer, but he respects the game and played the game like everyday was his last. Whether it's sitting around sharing a glass of ice tea or a sandwich -- but more importantly share some of the stories and the experiences that he had."
Shoulder issue lands Santos on disabled list
KANSAS CITY -- Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, following the team's 9-5 win over the Royals on Saturday.
The injury occurred during the ninth inning of Friday's 4-3 win at Kauffman Stadium. Santos picked up the save, allowing one run to score, but felt some tightness, according to manager John Farrell.
"He didn't feel quite right in that save situation last night," Farrell said after Saturday's game. "And as the evening progressed, he felt more tightness throughout the night. He woke up [Saturday] morning with that inflammation kind of rearing its head."
Santos said he was able to continue pitching on Friday, but things acted up Saturday.
"I felt OK, and then at some point in that inning I just could kind of feel that something wasn't quite right," Santos said on Saturday. "It wasn't that bad. I could kind of fight through it, and then I woke up [Saturday] morning and it was barking pretty good. I came in and let the staff know. Their thought was let's get this over with and not have it drag on, so let's shut it down now and hope that we can catch it early."
Farrell said the move is precautionary to make sure that Santos is at full health later in the season.
"If we're in the seventh game of the World Series," Farrell said, "he's pitching, but given the fact that where we are in the season, we don't want to take any chances with this."
Farrell said that Francisco Cordero will serve as the team's closer while Santos is out.
The club announced that right-handed pitcher Evan Crawford will be recalled from Double-A New Hampshire on Sunday. Crawford has already appeared in two games for the Blue Jays this season, allowing zero runs, one hit and three walks in two innings.
Perez steady force in Blue Jays' 'pen
KANSAS CITY -- With bullpens around baseball having issues, the Blue Jays have one reliever that has been lights out so far in 2012.
Luis Perez has been a dominating force out of the Blue Jays' bullpen this season. Entering Saturday's game against the Royals, he had allowed zero runs and just three hits over a total of 10 innings in six appearances.
In Friday night's 4-3 win over the Royals, Perez relieved Kyle Drabek, and struck out four batters in 1 2/3 innings. Entering with two on and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Perez struck out Mike Moustakas and Humberto Quintero on six pitches.
"He's been outstanding," manager John Farrell said on Saturday. "There's a lot of confidence to bring him into a situation no matter who's on base or what the score is or the inning. And he's pitched in the body language of that same confidence. I think he's done a very good job of using his secondary pitches, in addition to a very good fastball, to give him different looks against both right-handers and left-handers."
The performance on Friday earned Perez his second win of the season. At 2-0, he was tied for the best record on the team.
Romero offers advice for rookie's first start
KANSAS CITY -- The adjective "wise" is usually applied to someone with decades of experience under his belt. Not a 27-year-old.
But that was the case Friday, when Ricky Romero spent some time with Drew Hutchison ahead of his first Major League start against the Royals on Saturday. Romero shared some of his experiences with the 21-year-old pitcher.
"Any time you have your peers able to impart some of their experience, many times it resonates deeper than what myself or [pitching coach] Bruce [Walker] or any of the coaches can provide a young player," manager John Farrell said before Saturday's game. "They're the guys they dress next to. They're the guys that they'll go out and compete in between the lines with. I'm sure in some ways it's not only a similar message, but it might have a whole lot more meaning, and in some ways be a little bit more comforting."
Looking back, the Blue Jays' other four starters all pitched well in their first career starts, with no one giving up more than three runs.
Brandon Morrow made his first start in 2008 with Seattle, defeating the Yankees and allowing just one hit over 7 2/3 innings. Romero made his first start against Detroit in '09 and picked up a win. Kyle Drabek debuted in 2010, and, despite losing the game, allowed just three runs in Baltimore. Henderson Alvarez debuted last August, getting a no-decision over 5 2/3 innings against the Athletics.
Romero recalled what he could remember from his first career start.
"Just waking up in the morning. It was a day game. Just being there and not knowing what to expect really," he said. "Even though I had seen a few games before my start, you still wake up with butterflies in your stomach and it kind of hits you right at the moment that you're making your Major League debut, and you're in the big leagues. There was nothing like it. I had my whole family there, which was even more special. Definitely one of those days you'll never forget."
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.