Remember Salvador Perez, the Royals catcher who the team recently signed to a long extension for seven figures total? Well, Perez underwent surgery this morning to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, and he’s expected to be out 12 to 14 weeks.
This is a huge blow for a youthful Royals team. While Perez had minimal experience in the major leagues, the team was clearly counting on him to be a big part of their future. Knee surgery for a catcher is not a good indicator for future success at the position. Who knows if Perez will even be able to handle the position when he gets back into playing shape. At only 21 years of age, it’s clearly too early to say that he’s not going to be a catcher. But look at what happened to Buster Posey: one horrific injury behind hte plate, and there’s immediately talk of him changing his catching style, or even moving off of the position sooner rather than later.
The Royals now could have interest in a veteran backstop, with career backup Brayan Pena now thrust into the role of starter. The 30 year-old Pena has a career .552 OPS, and received a career high 240 plate appearances last year, where he OPSed .626. That’s clearly not going to work on a full-time basis, which is why the Royals are apparently looking at one veteran in particular: the legendary Ivan Rodriguez, last of the Nationals. Pudge played in a career low 44 games last year, and had just a .604 OPS. He’s clearly on his last legs, but is probably a better option than Pena, both offensively and in the sense that a veteran like him could probably really help the Royals young pitching staff mature with their pitch selection.
[h/t: Hardball Talk]