Pirates catcher Roberto Perez will undergo surgery on his left hamstring and miss the rest of the 2022 season, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (Twitter link). Perez was already on Pittsburgh’s 60-day injured list, and it was expected that his hamstring injury would require a long absence.
The Bucs initially placed Perez on the 10-day IL in between games of a doubleheader on May 7, after Perez injured his leg running the bases. Reports immediately filtered in that Perez (who was in obvious pain leaving the field) had suffered a serious injury, and the veteran backstop may have now already played his last game in a Pittsburgh uniform.
It marks the second straight injury-ravaged year for Perez, as he played only 44 games with Cleveland last season due to a pair of IL stints (a fractured right finger and shoulder inflammation). After the Guardians declined their $7MM club option on Perez for 2022, the Pirates inked the 33-year-old to a one-year, $5MM deal just prior to the lockout and just after the club had dealt former starting catcher Jacob Stallings to the Marlins.
A Gold Glove winner in both 2019 and 2020, Perez has long been appreciated for his excellent defense and ability to throw out would-be basestealers. He hasn’t enjoyed much success at the plate apart from a surprising 24-homer season in 2019, but Perez was off to a decent start with the Pirates, hitting .233/.333/.367 (106 wRC+) over 69 plate appearances.
With Perez now gone for the season, the Pirates will turn to a combination of Michael Perez and Tyler Heineman behind the plate. (Heineman was just claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on Monday.) For those wondering former first overall pick Henry Davis could factor into the Pirates’ catching plans this season, Davis only just made his debut in Double-A ball, and has been himself sidelined with a left wrist contusion. Mackey reports that Davis will be examined by doctors in Pittsburgh, but initial testing hasn’t revealed any fractures.