Welcome to Tuesday, Athletics Nation!
With the recent news that backup catcher Manny Pina would begin the season on the injured list, the Oakland A’s decided to beef up their catching depth, signing veteran Carlos Perez to a minor-league deal for the coming season. He was then assigned to minor-league camp.
It’s been a while since the 32-year-old Perez saw major-league action, last appearing in the bigs all the way back in 2018 (for the Braves and Rangers). He did make it into 86/87 games in 2014/‘15 respectively, though, and is a career .215/.257/.319 hitter with 11 career bombs in The Show.
He’s not being brought in for his bat, to be sure. He’s generally been considered a solid defender behind the plate and has a terrific 38.4% caught-stealing rate. Perez spent last season with the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate and put up an impressive season, hitting .254/.341/.524 with 31 home runs.
The only caveat is that Albuquerque is in the PCL, a notoriously hitter-friendly league that Oakland’s own Triple-A team is also in. In fact, Perez spent the 2021 season with Las Vegas and had a very similar slash line as last year, even hitting exactly 31 home runs for the Aviators that year.
With such little time left in camp before the end of Spring Training, it might be a stretch for Perez to be considered for the backup job on Opening Day. His biggest competition in camp is Yohel Pozo, who only has 21 games of big league experience compared to Perez’ 212. Pozo hasn’t done much this spring, racking up just three hits in 14 at-bats. Another thing to consider is that another team might release a catcher due to end of spring roster cuts, and the A’s could be interested in one of those teams catchers. Perhaps they wouldn’t have to look that far, either, as the San Francisco Giants look like they could let go of either Austin Wynns or Roberto Perez.
All that said, even though Pozo has been catching A’s pitchers all camp, it’s not like Perez isn’t familiar with some of the staff after spending 2021 in the Oakland organization. If Pina’s injury lasts longer than expected, the A’s don’t add any other catching options, and Pozo doesn’t perform well in his role as backup to starter Shea Langeliers, Perez could certainly be a candidate to take over that role. A lot of ifs, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
- Willis: Oakland Athletics Roster Predictions
- NBC Sports: Pache adjusting at plate to reclaim CF job
- Stockmar: Nick Allen, Aledmys Diaz remain in competition for starting shortstop role
MLB News & Interest:
- Zolecki: Phillies part with former No. 1 overall pick
- Camerato: Japan stuns Mexico on walkoff, to face USA in championship game Tuesday
- Rosa: MLB mulling tweaks to rule changes before Opening Day
- Bowman: Grissom optioned, clearing way for Arcia to claim SS job for Braves
- Burkhardt: Giants’ crowded crop of backstops in focus
- Browne: 2 weeks after scary HBP, Turner back with Red Sox
- Laible: Teen softball player donates her Make-A-Wish to local high school
- Associated Press: Mets’ Stewart hits for cycle; Nimmo eyes opener
- Gonzalez: Protesters outside Cuba-USA game
- Verducci: Cuba-USA rivalry not what it used to be
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
What a play from Randy Arozarena:
He really was like that:
Randy Arozarena after pulling off one of the best catches you’ll ever see pic.twitter.com/JXRpo0jF1N— Hector Diaz (@iamHectorDiaz) March 21, 2023
I hope you didn’t miss this game!
Tell me more about how a game 7 type vibe in March is boring? How was your teams split squad game today in Swamp Ass city Florida? The game of baseball is growing right before our very eyes! These dudes LOVE this stage & i’m so thankful they do. ELECTRIC! pic.twitter.com/UqV9Ye4VSE— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) March 21, 2023
Team USA will be seeing Shohei tomorrow evening….
Shohei Ohtani says he'll be prepared to pitch tomorrow. He said he's going to have to hit, so he must get runs on the board before that.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) March 21, 2023
Some of the top bats from this spring:
A's Top 10 Spring OPS Leaders (min. 15 PAs):— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) March 21, 2023