Perez appears unlikely to open the 2018 campaign with the Angels after the team signed fellow catcher Rene Rivera to a one-year, $2.8 million contract Tuesday, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
It would seem the Angels are placing a premium on defense behind the plate heading into 2018, as Rivera, who has thrown out 36 percent of attempted base stealers throughout his career, will slot in on the depth chart behind Martin Maldonado, the reigning American League Gold Glove winner at the position. Since the Angels are unlikely to enter Opening Day with three catchers, Perez, who is out of minor-league options, is at risk of losing his 40-man roster spot through trade or being designated for assignment. Though the 27-year-old might have more perceived upside than Rivera, his inferior defense at this stage of his career along with his meager .224/.267/.332 battling line across three seasons in the majors doesn't warrant much of a commitment on the Angels' part.
Perez went 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run home run in Thursday's 5-4 loss to the White Sox.
Manager Mike Scioscia gave the majority of his regulars the night off after being eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday, which afforded Perez the opportunity to make his first start since joining the majors Sept. 1. It was the 26-year-old's first homer of the 2017 campaign. He should return to the bench Friday in favor of Martin Maldonado.
Perez was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Perez made the Opening Day roster but went just 1-for-13 before being sent down. While he went on to post a .352/.423/.502 line with Salt Lake, his track record at the big-league level suggests that was more to do with the friendly hitting environments in the PCL rather than any significant skills growth. Perez's playing time figures to be limited behind Martin Maldonado and Juan Graterol.
Perez was optioned Wednesday to Triple-A Salt Lake, MLB.com's Maria I. Guardado reports.
Perez was off to a 1-for-13 start with four strikeouts at the plate and committed two errors behind the dish. The Angels most likely want to see more production out of their backup catcher, and called up Juan Graterol to fill that role.
Perez went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in Saturday's win over the Diamondbacks.
Perez has flashed some pop this spring, watching three of his seven hits leave spring training facilities. Unfortunately, those seven hits have come in 37 at-bats, resulting in a .189 batting average. Earlier in the spring, manager Mike Scioscia said that a timeshare is possible behind the dish this season between Perez and Martin Maldonado, and that seems to remain the case as we inch closer to Opening Day.
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|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2009||R-Gcl Blue Jays||43||141||17||41||11||3||1||21||16||23||2||5||.364||.433||.291|
|2013||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||16||53||6||15||4||0||1||5||4||11||0||0||.356||.415||.283|
|2013||AAA-Oklahoma City Redhaw||75||264||29||71||14||0||2||32||25||39||1||1||.328||.345||.269|
|2014||AAA-Oklahoma City Redhaw||88||301||33||78||16||2||6||34||29||54||3||0||.323||.385||.259|
|2015||AAA-Salt Lake Bees||17||72||11||26||8||0||2||12||7||7||1||0||.418||.556||.361|