When one thinks of Indians catcher Roberto Perez, the thought is that of a very solid defensive player behind the plate that is lacking in hitting ability.
Unfortunately, this isn’t Victor Martinez we are currently talking about. A former Indian that averaged .295 with 20 home runs and 97 runs batted in for a season’s worth of baseball.
Perez, a switch-hitter, is currently hitting .131 with three home runs and nine runs batted in on the season.
Not very good numbers for a player in a starting role. Even so, Perez is sidelined for eight to ten
weeks recovering from surgery on his finger, so a lot of discussion on where he’ll end up number-wise doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense.
Thus, it will be up to Austin Hedges and Rene Rivera to take over the catcher position for the Indians. Hedges is hitting .137 with two homers and four RBI.
The sample size for this is just 51 at-bats. Rivera is hitting .308 in only 13 at-bats total. It’s not a big enough sample size to really grasp his abilities.
Unfortunately, with the current players on the roster and taking into account Perez’s eventual return, this team lacks that firepower from the catcher position at the plate.
It is a big hole for the team and certainly an issue when looking at the offense.
The Indians may have to make a trade to add another catcher that has more of an ability to hit for a higher average and provide a bigger spark with home runs and extra base hits, too.
This could certainly help the Indians that are in need for run producers.
Additionally, it will be interesting to see what manager Terry Francona and the Indians do when Roberto Perez eventually does return.
Assuming a move isn’t made, it’s going to be more lackluster offense that keeps the Tribe dragging through each series.
Hedges will likely remain the backup catcher and Rivera is going to be sent back to the minor leagues.
The Indians are currently 21-18, 3.5 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central.
The team has shown the ability to compete with the best of them, but this catcher situation is certainly something that would be great to get figured out.