Roberto Perez already faced long odds to get to the big leagues as a 33rd-round draft pick for the Indians in 2008, though he faced another obstacle to both his career and general well-being when he suffered a Bell’s palsy attack in June 2013. As Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan writes, Perez kept playing through his affliction, despite being unable to move the muscles on the left side of his face. Thankfully, the catcher’s condition has improved since he began receiving thrice-weekly acupuncture treatments, and Perez has since made a place for himself in Cleveland postseason lore thanks to his two-homer performance in Game One of the World Series. Here’s some more from around baseball…
- Yoenis Cespedes’ list of possible suitors is examined by Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, who notes that the Mets are “the obvious choice” but several other teams will be in the mix. Several industry sources tab the Giants as candidates to make a push for Cespedes, who would solve San Francisco’s needs for power and a left fielder. The Angels also have a left field vacancy and some payroll space, while the Marlins and Dodgers could potentially emerge in the Cespedes market if they trade one of their current outfielders. Teams who miss out on signing Edwin Encarnacion could also get involved in the Cespedes market.
- The Pirates announced several changes to their coaching staff, including the previously reported hiring of Joey Cora as the team’s new third base and infield coach. Tom Prince, the longtime former big leaguer and coach/manager in Pittsburgh’s minor league system will become Clint Hurdle’s new bench coach. Kimera Bartee becomes the new first base coach as well as the club’s outfield and baserunning coach, following nine seasons as Pittsburgh’s minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator. Dave Jauss, who served as the bench coach in 2016, will return to his previous role as the quality-control coach, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reports. Brad Fischer, a coach on last year’s staff, has been offered a new job in the club’s player development department but is still mulling the offer. Cora and Bartee will respectively replace Rick Sofield and Nick Leyva, who both lost their jobs last week.
- Earlier this week, Major League Baseball ended up canceling a showcase in the Dominican Republic that players were set to boycott, as BA’s Ben Badler reported. A group representing trainers issued a statement saying that the move was “not a fight against MLB,” but rather “a fight against the draft” for international talent that the league has proposed in collective bargaining agreement talks. Many trainers did show up to further their protest, as Badler further documents.