When healthy, Salvador Perez is one of the few bell cow catchers left in the league. Unfortunately, he needed a two-week stint on the disabled list in August with a strained intercostal -- his first visit since being concussed in 2013. Despite failing to reach 500 plate appearances for the first time since 2012 (falling one short), Perez set career highs with 27 homers and 80 RBI, while tying 2016's career best 57 runs scored. An increase in HR/FB fueled by a higher hard contact rate drove the power surge. Perez remained allergic to walks, drawing a free pass in just 3.4 percent of his trips to the dish. The 27-year old backstop aggravated his side in September, but is expected to be healthy in the spring. While some regression in power is likely, note his ISO has increased every season since 2013. Not only does Perez play almost every day, he hits high up in the order, making him a great target for those not afraid to invest in a catcher.
Perez is hitting .364 with three home runs, four strikeouts and one walk in 22 spring at-bats. Perez is showing off some thump so far as the cleanup hitter, which could be a preview of a potential career year, not because of what he's doing this spring, but because of where he figures to hit in the Royals' lineup. The bulk of his at-bats came out of the five hole last year when Perez hit a career-high 27 home runs. If he brings that same level of power and can stay relatively healthy in his age 27/28 season, he could set career highs in runs and RBI with a regular spot in the four hole.
Perez (groin) is out of the lineup Sunday against the Diamondbacks. There had been some hope that Perez would be able to return to action Sunday, but that won't be the case as he'll sit out of the season finale. Drew Butera will serve as the Royals' backstop in his place. Perez hit .268/.297/.495 to go with 27 home runs and 80 RBI this season, both of which are career-high marks for the 27-year-old.
Perez (groin) will not play Friday or Saturday, but could take the field for Sunday's season finale, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Manager Ned Yost will give Perez at least two days to recover from the groin soreness that forced him from Thursday's contest, but he could still take the field for the final game of the regular season.
Perez (groin) is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Diamondbacks, 610 Sports Radio Kansas City reports. Perez injured his groin in Thursday's game, and he will not start Friday as a result. The severity of his injury remains uncertain, but with just a couple games left in the regular season, it's possible he will not start again in 2017. Drew Butera will get the nod Friday in Perez's place.
Perez was removed from Thursday's game with left groin soreness. His status for the final series of the season is up in the air. Perez has been banged up throughout the second half, even requiring a DL stint for an intercostal strain in August, but he still ranks fifth among all catchers in games played this season (129) despite the missed time.