In the first instalment of a series looking at the Kansas City Royals 40-man roster and beyond, we analyse the depth at catcher. It was a depth that was tested this season as Spring Training injuries to both regulars and backups caused what Manager Ned Yost referred to as ‘a worst case scenario’.
Salvador Perez – Perez had impressed in the latter half of 2011 and looked like the Royals everyday catcher in 2012. Knee surgery in Spring Training, however, meant that Perez did not play until the end of June. He showed through the rest of the season how much the Royals had missed him and if he stays healthy he is all but guaranteed to be behind the plate against the Chicago White Sox on the first of April next year. He is also under contract through 2016, with a club option through 2019, so he’ll likely be a fixture for years to come.
Brayan Peña – Peña was the Royals Opening Day starter this year after the injury to Perez and was the primary backup thereafter. He is also Bruce Chen‘s personal catcher and filled in at DH a few times at the end of the season. He is a poor defensive catcher, however, and his hitting is only average. There is a decent chance that he will be the reserve catcher again next year, but there are better options.
Manny Piña – Piña had hoped to compete for the backup catcher’s role out of Spring Training, but like Perez picked up an injury that required surgery. Piña ultimately got into just one game this year, on the last day of September. He did have a few appearances as a September callup in 2011 and looked talented in that time. Should challenge Peña for the backup role next March, but is not the favourite.
Adam Moore – Moore came up this September and caught Jake Odorizzi‘s first game at the big league level. He only joined the Royals organisation mid-season after being claimed off waivers. Prior to that he had been with the Seattle Mariners where a pair of injuries had cost him the chance to push for a spot on the Opening Day roster. No guarantee that he will even be in the organisation next year and very much an outsider to be with the big league club.