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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Do The Royals Have A Problem Behind The Plate? - MLB Trade Rumors

The Royals should start transitioning Melendez into their #1 catcher. A 60/40 split of Salvy and Melendez this year would be a good start, with Salvy picking up a lot of DH time.

Defensive Runs Saved has placed Perez at -5 in 2021 and -4 in 2022. Baseball Prospectus’ Catcher Defensive Adjustment gave him a -14.8 last year, which was last in the majors, and -14.1 this year, which was third-last. Though Perez has had success throwing out baserunners in his career, his pop time was ranked by Statcast as 50th out of 83 catchers this year.

In terms of framing, the problem appears to be more chronic. FanGraphs has only given him a positive grade in that department once, which was the shortened 2020 season. He posted a -19.6 and -12.6 over the past two campaigns, bringing his career tally to -106.5. That’s last in the majors among all catchers from 2011 to the present. Baseball Prospectus is fairly similar, as Perez has been tagged with a negative number in each season except for 2013 and 2020, with a -14.3 and -14.2 in the past two years. Statcast framing data only goes back to 2015, but it also isn’t fond of his work. Apart from an even zero in 2020, he has all negative numbers there, including a -8 this year, fifth-worst in the league, and a -18 last year, which was dead last.

All of this isn’t to say that Perez is solely responsible for the club’s pitching woes. As mentioned, baseball teams have dozens of coaches and analysts who all play a role in the results. But these numbers surely aren’t ideal when trying to mold a batch of pitching prospects into effective major leaguers. It’s also possible that health is playing a role, since Perez underwent left thumb surgery in 2022. He was supposed to be out of action eight weeks but returned after just over a month and maybe wasn’t 100%. If better health in 2023 leads to better outcomes, that would be fantastic for KC. But if it doesn’t and the problem persists, finding a solution will have multiple challenges.

For one thing, there’s the fact that Perez, who turns 33 in May, is still under contract for at least three more seasons. As part of an extension he and the club agreed to in 2021, he’ll get $20MM in 2023 and 2024, $22MM in 2025, and then a $13.5MM club option for 2026 with a $2MM buyout. For a low-spending team like the Royals, he’s easily their highest-paid player.

jimfurtado Posted: November 23, 2022 at 08:02 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals, salvador perez

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 23, 2022 at 12:56 PM (#6106618)
As many have pointed out before me, these days basically all Cs are 60/40 or 50/50 splits with the rare exception of Realmuto, Rutschman, etc.

As I'm sue the article points out, the Royals have Perez under contract for 3 more years for $64 -- not going to break the bank or anything but pricey for a 110 OPS+ DH.

EDIT: But if we were to list all of the Royals' problems in order of problemy-ness, it would be a while before we got to Sal Perez
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 23, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6106624)
Rfield says that Melendez was a butcher last year. Is he not really a catcher?
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: November 23, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6106642)
Rfield says that Melendez was a butcher last year. Is he not really a catcher?


He played in about 65 games at catcher(578 innings) had 5 errors (not terrible) 6 pass balls (not terrible) 49 wild pitches not good at all. (Perez had 29 wild pitches and 1 passed ball in about 4 more games played--same pitching staff)
   4. Zach Posted: November 23, 2022 at 06:26 PM (#6106662)
Salvy DHs in a third to a half of the games he appears in nowadays and Melendez is a good enough athlete to spend some time in the outfield. Also, the Royals system has good catching prospects at almost every level.

Salvy plus Melendez in a swing role plus a pure defense backup catcher will work in the short term. If Melendez can't hold down the position, his bat should carry him as an outfielder.

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