The Rangers announced that they’ve claimed catcher Carlos Perez off waivers from the Braves. Texas has opened a 40-man roster spot by transferring injured shortstop Elvis Andrus from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. That move seemingly carries little impact on Andrus’ timetable for a return from an elbow fracture, as he was widely expected to miss around eight weeks with the injury anyhow. As Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets, Andrus can be activated on June 11.
Texas didn’t immediately reveal a corresponding 25-man roster move, as executive VP of communications John Blake indicated that said move will be announced tomorrow. However, it seems unlikely that the Rangers would carry three catchers on the big league roster, and Perez is out of minor league options, so it’s fair to speculate that current backup catcher Juan Centeno’s spot could be in jeopardy. It’s also possible, of course, that one of Centeno or Robinson Chirinos is dealing with a yet-undisclosed injury and could land on the disabled list, thus prompting the Texas organization to pick up some additional depth behind the dish.
Perez, 27, was traded from the Angels to the Braves on March 31 in the wake of an injury to Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers. He appeared in eight games with the Braves but went just 3-for-21 with a walk and six strikeouts in 22 trips to the plate. That lack of production mirrors Perez’s meager output from a near-identical sample of 21 plate appearances in 2017 with the Halos. Overall, he’s hit just .122/.163/.195 over the past two seasons and .221/.264/.325 in a total of 617 big league plate appearances.
Of course, Perez’s calling card is his glovework behind the dish. The Venezuelan-born backstop has successfully halted 38 percent of stolen-base attempts against him at the big league level and has drawn generally positive marks for both his pitch-framing and pitch-blocking skills, per Baseball Prospectus.
It’s been an ugly start to the season for the season for the 28-year-old Centeno, which only makes it easier to speculate on his potential dismissal. He’s posted a tepid .147/.171/.176 slash in 35 plate appearances as the backup to Chirinos, and while he’s yet to have an opponent attempt a steal against him, Centeno has just a 13 percent caught-stealing rate as a Major League catcher.