Some big and unfortunate — but not surprising — news came from the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, as the team announced that catcher Roberto Pérez would undergo rotator cuff surgery. The surgery will end his season.
Pérez was signed to a Minor League deal in the offseason, and not only made the Opening Day roster but was the Opening Day starter. He’s been a quality player when healthy, hitting 24 home runs in 2019 and winning back-to-back Gold Glove awards in 2019 and 2020.
But the “when healthy” caveat is a big one, and he had appeared in just 65 games in 2021 and 2022. He played in just five games for the Giants before suffering the season-ending injury.
The Giants still have a ton of options at catcher, though it’s entirely unclear who — if anyone — will stick. There are currently just two catchers on the 40-man roster, but those two are exciting. Joey Bart has looked good on both sides since returning from the 10-day Injured List, and Blake Sabol is showing improvements behind the dish.
Beyond that, there’s a lot of intriguing depth. Two-time All-Star Gary Sánchez is making up for his lack of Spring Training by playing for AAA Sacramento, where Ricardo Genovés is also catching and playing very well. The organization has expressed confidence that AA catcher Patrick Bailey could be a core part of the Major League team at some point this season.
Still, losing Pérez is a big bummer. He’s a significantly better defensive catcher than anyone in the organization other than Bailey, and a proven Major League contributor. It would not be a surprise at all to see him back in camp with the Giants in 2024, trying to earn the right to split reps with whoever earns the gig after this season.
Heal up, Roberto.