KC Royals: Salvador Perez looks comfortable back in the game

KC Royals, Salvador Perez (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Salvador Perez (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals missed their All-Star catcher during the 2019 season, but now he is back and looks like he never missed a second.

While there are plenty of new players making their debuts this year for the Royals, and likely a lot of names that some fans don’t know that well, it’s the exact opposite for Salvador Perez. Perez didn’t see any time during the 2019 season due to his Tommy John surgery, but his return to the game for 2020 was one that was welcomed by fans everywhere.

Perez is a must behind the plate in Kansas City, and it seems as though he has been since his debut for the Royals on this day in 2011.

His importance can be seen in the 6 All-Star game appearances, 4 Gold Gloves, and  Silver Sluggers, but also through the emotion and motivation that he brings to the team with his upbeat attitude and desire to win, along with the important guidance he provides for pitchers, both veterans and rookies.

Now, in this strange 2020 season, the big question concerning Salvy was whether or not he would be the same dominant catcher, both behind and at the plate, that he was before his surgery.

While the current sample size is fairly low in normal seasons, considering that it accounts for almost 1/3 of the regular season, it might have some telling information for the next couple of months.

From the start, Salvy has looked comfortable, something that may not have been expected so early on in his return. It was thought that he would not play as many games as the catcher, but fill in as the designated hitter, or at first base every now and then.

So far, though, Perez has seen time as the catcher in 14 games, already compiling 117 innings in the spot. His fielding percentage is, to no surprise, spotless, he’s recorded no passed balls, and too many haven’t tried to run on him, but out of the 2, only 1 made it.

Yes, the Salvy that fans know and love behind the plate looks to be back without skipping a beat, but the comfort doesn’t stop there.

Salvy has always seemed decently comfortable in the batter’s box, though, he usually doesn’t find himself in the running for the batting title. Around a .260 average, give or take, is what fans have come to expect from Perez, who backs it up with consistent seasons of over 20 home runs.

So far in 2020, though, the balls seem to be flying off his bat. Salvy is currently sitting with a slash of .319/.333/.522, knocking in 9 RBI’s, 5 doubles, and 3 home runs. He is also sitting with an 8 game hitting streak going into today’s day off.

There is plenty of season left but as of now, Salvy looks like he came back ready to make up for lost time. There is no doubt the extra time during the season delay helped his recovery. While the question may remain on whether or not he can retain these numbers, the fact remains that above all else, Salvador Perez is back and looks comfortable.

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Salvy has returned and things seem different in the clubhouse. With a number of young pitchers making their way to the majors this year, there is no better catcher to help them find success than Perez.