During his media session Monday at the MLB Winter Meetings, Yost praised Perez multiple times for his defensive and his bat, while also admitting that something needs to change next season.
“I can’t catch Sal 150 games again,” Yost said. “I can’t. I’ll kill the kid.”
Perez caught the most games and most innings in MLB last season — 1,249 innings in 146 games. We’re icing our knees just writing that.
And that was just the regular season. Perez caught another 141 innings in the postseason. Then he played in MLB’s Japan Series not even two weeks after the World Series ended.
“Because the temptation to play Salvador every single day is great,” Yost said, “probably what we’ll do right out of Spring Training is assign four starters to him and one to somebody else. At least every four days he’s getting a DH day or a day off. And I think that’s probably best case. Works out best for everybody involved.”
With the Royals losing Billy Butler in free agency, Yost says he likes the idea of a “revolving DH” to give players like Perez, Omar Infante and Alex Gordon time off in the field. That way he can still keep their bats in the lineup. Perez hit .289/.403/.692 last season with 17 homers and 70 RBIs, which is good but not astounding. Yet Yost mentioned more than once how important Perez’s bat is.
“There will be times where I’ll give him a day off. But Sal is a force offensively. He’s a two-time Gold Glove catcher, but his bat is a very productive bat. And at times last year we struggled offensively, it’s hard to take that bat out of the lineup.”
But it would be worst to kill him.
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