GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Roberto Perez waited for his flip and vows to make the most of his massive possibility.
Perez figures to get a good deal of time powering the plate for the Cleveland Indians immediately after the AL Central champions traded All-Star Yan Gomes to Washington.
The 30-yr-outdated Perez is eager to get likely.
“I’m incredibly excited,” he reported. “It was a little something I have normally required. I knew Yan was the male but now that I have the opportunity, I’m likely to get benefit of it.”
Perez arrived in July 2014 from Triple-A immediately after the Indians moved Carlos Santana to very first base. Perez was promoted to get benefit of his defensive skill and the upcoming season led the main leagues by throwing out 16 of the 41 runners attempting to steal — that 39 p.c charge was tops between catchers with at minimum 40 attempts.
Even though he has not strike a great deal in his job, with a .205 batting regular to go together with 21 residence operates and 99 RBIs in 285 online games, Perez was acknowledged for handling Cleveland’s younger, talented pitching workers.
“The biggest factor is defensively and functioning the match, finding the ideal fingers down,” Indians supervisor Terry Francona reported. “He can get the pitchers through not just the simple portion but the complicated areas. He is very well prepared for that.”
“We all truly feel with standard at-bats, he’s likely to strike far better,” he reported. “Even if he does not strike like Gomes, we nonetheless think in the way he operates the match. That is very first and foremost as a catcher.”
Francona’s statement can take the tension that Perez felt at the plate in spite of his two-homer overall performance in the 2016 Earth Sequence against the Chicago Cubs, actively playing in all seven online games. Perez has 4 residence operates in the postseason.
“Playing after a week is hard,” Perez reported. “There are no excuses, but this match is tricky even for the guys that engage in each and every day.”
“When I was powering Yan, I would engage in after or 2 times a week. It is simpler when you know you’re likely to engage in the upcoming day. You can make changes. You can go for 4 and you can say I’ll get them the upcoming day alternatively of attempting to get three hits in one at-bat.”
To make improvements to his batting eye, Perez went to the Dominican Republic for winter season ball. He strike .333 for Licey in 24 online games with 4 doubles, a residence operate and 11 RBIs.
There is extra of a load on him to help the crew offensively immediately after Yonder Alonso was traded to the Chicago White Sox and Edwin Encarnacion was sent to the Seattle Mariners. Francisco Lindor, who experienced a massive offensive yr, is an early concern mark with a ideal calf pressure that will retain him out seven to nine months.
The Indians are attempting to rebuild a bullpen that shed closer Cody Allen to the Angels and Andrew Miller to the Cardinals through cost-free company.
Perez will have to get ready reliever Brad Hand for a new position and operate in nonroster pitchers this sort of as Alex Wilson. The fantastic news for Perez is that aces Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer are nonetheless a few locker areas absent.
“I’m just joyful they both of those by no means bought traded,” Perez reported. “We have our rotation intact. They’re pleasurable to look at when I was on the bench. They’re pleasurable to catch.”
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to be powering the plate for them all yr. I’m on the lookout ahead to them possessing good years.”