Ned Yost gave Royals catcher Salvador Perez a choice, either sit out Saturday night or Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Rangers. Perez opted for the matinee, so his main assignment on Saturday involved a microphone and one of the greatest catchers of all time.
Fox Sports Kansas City set up an interview between Perez and Ivan Rodriguez, the 14-time All Star and 13-time Gold Glover who spent 13 seasons as a Ranger. The pairing prompted lofty praise from Yost for Perez, 24.
“I think Salvy, when it’s all said and done, his reputation is going to be every bit as good as Pudge Rodriguez’s is,” Yost said before the game. “Salvy’s going to end up being one of the best catchers to come out of Latin America of all-time.”
Perez is playing in his second full big-league season. Rodriguez played 21 years in the majors, and could be bound for the Hall of Fame. But Perez has already begun to accumulate accolades, like a Gold Glove and a pair of All-Star selections. Perez started for the American League behind the plate at last month’s Midsummer Classic.
Never miss a local story.
To Yost, the comparison is not that far-fetched. His faith in Perez appears unlimited.
“He’s strong,” Yost said. “He’s durable. He’s athletic for a big guy. He’s going to be every bit as good.”
The only thing holding Perez back, Yost continued, would be his health. He needs to remain on the field in order to earn acclaim. The timing of this statement was interesting, as Perez had just missed Wednesday’s game due to inflammation in his right knee.
An MRI on Thursday showed no structural damage. Perez played on Friday. But Yost did not want him to catch both Saturday and the subsequent day game in this sweltering Texas weather. He insisted Perez felt fine.
“Be curious all you want,” Yost said. “There’s not a damn thing wrong with him. I’m giving him a day off because tomorrow is going to be hotter than hell.”
He added, “I didn’t want him to play tonight in the heat, and then come back tomorrow and play him in the heat.”
Perez said he had no particular preference for which day he played.
“I don’t care,” he said. “I always play day games, night games, whatever.”
Holland reaches milestone
With his save on Friday night, Greg Holland record his 40th of the season. He also become just the second Royal to notch a pair of back-to-back 40-save seasons. Dan Quisenberry did the same in 1983 and 1984.