The Cleveland Indians are two months into the season and the catching duo has not been impressive. With Yan Gomes having a bit better year in 2018 than 2017, should Roberto Perez be optioned to triple-A?
The Cleveland Indians catching duo is not offensively savvy. The defensive prowess displayed by both is what makes them a great duo.
The Indians have seen Gomes hit somewhat better in 2018, which is encouraging. However, Roberto Perez has continued to struggle after a bad 2017.
Perez is slashing .147/.244/.235 with one homer and four RBIs. He has also struck out 30 times in only 60 at-bats. Even at catcher, where offense is a bonus, this line is unacceptable.
His defense has always been his strong suit but this is shaping up to be his worst defensive year in the majors. He has four errors in just 176 innings behind the dish.
He has also only caught one single would-be-base-stealer while having 11 stolen on him. The four errors ties for his career worst back in 2015 but he amassed those over 538.1 innings behind the plate.
Perez’s struggles with the bat are hindering an offense that is otherwise starting to click well with each other. After the team’s slow start, the Cleveland Indians have sported a top five offense in the month of May.
If Perez was playing better defense this possibly is not even a question. However, with three remaining options, the team may need to start looking at sending him down.
This would not be permanent but more so a chance for him to get things turned around in the minors with everyday action. Splitting time with Gomes makes it difficult to get the work he needs.
Who could replace Perez on the roster?
Mejia has seen his offensive production slow down dramatically in Triple-A, slashing .186/.253/.292 in 161 at-bats. He has also played the outfield on occasion. Him staying in Columbus would be best for his development.
Also in Triple-A, Haase has been slightly better offensively. His slash line is .215/.265/.343 in 172 at-bats.
Haase is an older prospect than Mejia, but still only 25 years old. His development is further along and he could handle a stint in the majors and has all three options remaining once Perez was ready to come back.
Sending Perez down isn’t likely to occur but it is a valid question fans should be asking. With his struggles, he could just need consistency in his play time to figure things out.