The SF Giants received some unfortunate news on Thursday, According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, veteran catcher Roberto Pérez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery and will began a rehab program on Friday.
SF Giants veteran catcher undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery
Pérez sustained a right rotator cuff strain last week while attempting to throw out a base stealer. The severity of the injury was not immediately known but he was placed on the 60-day injured list the following day to make room for Austin Wynns.
Generally, it is not a good sign when a player is immediately transferred to the 60-day injured list. Teams like to get an injured area scoped out to determine the severity as well as plan our potential rehab options. This usually takes a few days, but the Giants needed a catcher so they had to make a quick call on Pérez.
The 34-year-old backstop signed with San Francisco on a minor league deal late in the offseason. The Giants did have an open competition at catcher this spring but they are on the verge of losing several of their depth options in the first month of the season with Pérez on the injured list, Wynns on waivers, and an impending decision needed on Blake Sabol.
Current Joey Bart and Sabol are the top options at catcher. However, Gary Sánchez is getting game reps in Triple-A while he prepares for a likely promotion by the end of the year.
For Pérez, it is yet another unfortunate injury. The right-handed bat was a well-regarded defensive catcher earlier in his career as he earned successive Gold Glove awards in 2019 and 2020. However, staying on the field has been an issue in recent years for the nine-year veteran.
Pérez sustained a season-ending hamstring injury that required surgery after 21 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. And, he went down with an injury after just give games this season. He tallied two hits in 15 at-bats with the Giants. Anything he produced offensively was considered a bonus, but he did receive positive reviews for his work with the pitching staff.
It is encouraging to see that he is pursuing a rehab program. He will enter his age-35 season in 2024 and catching takes a toll on the body, but it sounds like he may continue his career. He likely can still add value to a club even if it is in a limited role.