Carlos Perez seemed to be primed to take over the starting catcher job for the Angels after a strong finish to the 2015 season. Things didn't quite pan out the way anyone hoped, as the backstop ended up spending a bit of time in the minors during July after batting just .204 with 23 RBI through the first half of the season. He returned to the majors pretty quickly, but his results didn't improve all that much, as he mustered just a .220 batting average with eight RBI over the remainder of the season while losing the starting job to Jett Bandy. Perez's minor league success at the plate implies that a breakout could sit on the horizon, although he'll have to find that improvement quickly. The Angels traded Bandy to Milwaukee yet probably prefer newly acquired Martin Maldonado to Perez, who's only worth watching in two-catcher mixed and AL-only leagues.
Manager Mike Scioscia said that he will let his catcher situation play out this spring and Perez isn't guaranteed to be a backup, the Orange Country Register reports. It was thought that Martin Maldonado would see the majority of starts behind the dish when the club acquired him this offseason, and while that may end up happening, it appears Perez will get a chance to prove himself this spring. Neither option offers much from an offensive standpoint, so a timeshare would ultimately end what little fantasy value both catchers would have had if there was a full-time starter.
Perez is expected to serve in the same backup role he acted in last season. The 26-year-old backstop didn't bring much to the plate in 291 plate appearances last year, slashing a meager .209/.244/.325. While the newly-acquired Martin Maldonado isn't much better with his bat, he possesses plus defensive skills behind the plate, making him the favorite to start over Perez. Neither catcher will have much value out of the gates.
Perez was recalled by the Angels on Wednesday and he's batting eighth in the order against the Mariners. Perez rejoins the big league club after a brief stint at Triple-A Salt Lake as the Halos needed another healthy body behind the plate with Geovany Soto dealing with an ailing thumb. He'll bat in the eighth spot against Cody Martin, who carries a 2.70 ERA into Wednesday's matchup.
Perez was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake following Tuesday's game, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports. With Geovany Soto (knee) ready to come off the DL, Perez will head back to Triple-A to serve as organizational depth. That said, Soto has had a very hard time staying healthy this season, so it would not be surprising if Perez found his way back to the big leagues before the end of the season.
Perez was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday. Perez apparently used his demotion on July 8 as motivation as he's went 11-for-31 (.355) with seven runs and nine RBI in his last seven games for Triple-A Salt Lake. The 25-year-old will now get another crack in the majors and is due to see a few starts in the near future given Geovany Soto is on the DL currently.