Kansas City Royals: Salvador Perez will be welcome sight in 2020
By Shawn Bauman
After Tommy John surgery in March, Salvador Perez recently began participating in baseball drills renewing hope in Kansas City Royals fans for 2020.
We knew this year would be a difficult one for the Kansas City Royals but losing Salvador Perez to a season-ending injury made the situation worse. Who better to have behind the plate tutoring the young pitchers than the catcher who had been to six straight All-Star games and won five of the last six gold gloves?
Perez has recently begun tossing the baseball from longer distances and even participated in drills donning catching gear. This is a wonderful sight for sore eyes; not only for the energy he brings but his bat has been sorely missed as well. Royals catchers this year combined to hit .228 and 11 home runs. Six of the long balls went away when Martin Maldonado was traded to the Cubs back in July.
Perez had hoped to spend some time in Venezuela this winter (if Kansas City would agree to let him go) to get live at-bats before spring training but that may not be possible due to MLB’s current stance.
"Perez said prior to the ruling from MLB that he’d hoped to get cleared to play in Venezuela this winter just as a designated hitter and get 85-100 at-bats because he hasn’t faced seen pitching in so long. — kansascity.com"
Whether or not he gets the chance for action this fall/winter, he knows he will be ready for Spring Training.
This is the second year in a row that a March injury has cost Perez playing time. In 2018 he slipped while carrying luggage and was fortunate to only miss a few weeks with a sprained-MCL. Next season he will turn 30 years old and after catching nearly 900 games in the majors would the Royals be tempted to reduce the wear and tear by giving him time at first base or designated hitter?
Although possible, I believe Perez’s greatest value to Kansas City for the next two or three years is as a catcher. Management can sneak days off in and let him DH from time-to-time to keep him fresh. With the talented young arms coming up through the minors I cannot imagine a better person to have them throw to while acclimating themselves to the big leagues.