Projecting the KC Royals’ Opening Day starting lineup

KC Royals, Whit Merrifield (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Whit Merrifield (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Salvador Perez
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images /

Catcher: Salvador Perez

After missing the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, Salvador Perez will be back behind the plate for the KC Royals in 2020. It’s been a long time coming for Perez, one of the longest-tenured Royals on the team and a surefire face of the franchise.

The tale of how Perez’s 2020 will unfold likely depends on how much rest the team gives him. He’s logged a crazy amount of innings at catcher over the years and although he had a year off to rest his knees and body as a whole, he’ll be 30 in a couple of months. His prime may not last too much longer.

With that said, Perez should still have a good season. Manager Mike Matheny will make a solid effort to keep his catcher’s legs fresh throughout a grueling season. Perez also spent time at first base in spring training, so that could open up some opportunities for additional playing time. The emergence of Soler makes it difficult to see him filling in much at designated hitter.

Having Salvy back will not only boost team morale and give the offense some pop, but it’ll also be huge for the pitching staff. Perez is one of the best defenders in the game, possessing a strong arm with pinpoint accuracy. That arm will face its ultimate test when play eventually resumes.