For a second straight year, catcher Roberto Perez’s season is over before it had much of a chance to get underway. The Giants announced Thursday that Perez underwent surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season. Perez, who played in just five games before sustaining the injury, was limited to 21 games with the Pirates in 2022 before a torn hamstring required season-ending surgery.
The injury to Perez was rather sudden, as a week ago he was still suiting up for the club. He exited their April 7 contest with what the team originally termed a shoulder strain, but further imaging revealed extensive enough damage that surgical intervention was required. He’d already been placed on the 60-day injured list, but the Giants hadn’t indicated until today that Perez’s entire season was even in jeopardy — let alone finished.
Signed to a minor league contract with a $2.5MM base salary back in early February, the 34-year-old Perez parlayed a decent spring showing (.261/.292/.391) into a spot on the Giants’ Opening Day roster. Long considered one of the premier defenders in the game at the catcher position, he appeared positioned for at least a backup role and — depending on Joey Bart and Rule 5 outfielder/catcher Blake Sabol fare — perhaps even a slightly larger role. Instead, he’ll spend the season on the Major League injured list.
The Giants didn’t do much to address their catching depth this offseason, with Perez and Sabol standing as their primary additions. They re-signed Austin Wynns to a non-roster deal and selected him to the big league roster when Perez hit the injured list, but he’s already since been designated for assignment. San Francisco did pick up Gary Sanchez on a minor league contract a week or so into the season, though he’s just 2-for-17 with seven strikeouts in 19 Triple-A plate appearances.
Sanchez could still factor into the Giants’ plans behind the dish, but at least for the time being, it’ll be Bart and Sabol splitting time behind the plate. Sanchez’s deal comes with a weighty (by minor league deal standards) $4MM base salary in the Majors and affords him the opportunity to opt out and re-enter the free-agent market on May 1 if he’s not been added to the big league roster by that point.