What should have been a simple rounding of second base has turned into a significant issue for the Pirates.
Roberto Perez, who was signed to replace Jacob Stallings after the Cheetah was traded to the Miami Marlins, injured his hamstring on that May 7 base run. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk announced this afternoon that Perez will have surgery on the hamstring, ending his season.
Perez was already not expected to return until July, having been placed on the 60-day injured list on May 11, so this is a blow to a position that’s already seen some struggles this year.
“I think we were all hoping that surgery would not be where it was going and trying to hold off as much hope as possible,” manager Derek Shelton said. “But I feel bad for Roberto just because of the fact he was off to the start he was, especially in terms of leading our group. We saw from even the play he hurt it on, he played hard. It just sucks.”
Perez was hitting .233 with two home runs and eight RBIs, with a slash line of .233/.333/.367. His true value, though, was his experience and steadiness behind the plate. He won two Gold Gloves during his time with the Cleveland
Indians Guardians, and with Stallings’ departure and 2021 first overall draft pick Henry Davis still a long way from the Show, the Pirates hoped that he could bridge that gap.
Michael Perez, who was Stallings’s backup last year, DFA’d, and signed again this year, has been the primary catcher since Roberto’s injury, having been called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. In addition, the Pirates claimed former Toronto Blue Jay Tyler Heineman off waivers on Monday, DFAing Andrew Knapp in the process. Knapp has elected to become a free agent.
In a season that seems filled with injuries, permit me this cliche: this one hurts.