Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Fri, 3/16
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 16 2012 8:14PM
Even once the Royals learned Salvador Perez had torn the meniscus in his left knee, they had to wait until he had surgery before determining the proper course of action. If Perez had to miss just a few weeks, the Royals probably would’ve patched things together with the handful of catchers they already have, maybe acquiring a fringe Major League journeyman catcher because of Manny Piña’s absence.
The Royals got the news today and it won’t be just a few weeks. The Royals say doctors have estimated Perez’s recovery time will be 12-14 weeks, meaning he won’t be back in the Majors until mid June, at the earliest. And, according to people I’ve spoken with, once Perez comes back, he probably won’t be able to catch more than four times a week for the remainder of the season. So, ideally, the Royals will look to get a Major League catcher who’s solid defensively and can share time with Brayan Peña; they’ll be looking for someone like Matt Treanor, whom they picked up at the end of spring training last year to pair with Peña. It will be hard to find a decent Major League catcher who fits the Royals needs before the last few days of spring training; once teams set their rosters and have a better idea of what they have is when they’re in a position to deal players they don’t have as much of a need for. It’s not out of the question that the Royals could look to deal a bullpen arm or two (their surplus) for a serviceable catcher.
When spring training started, manager Ned Yost said that the centerfield job was up for grabs. However, everyone who follows the Royals closely knows Lorenzo Cain is, by far, the best option for centerfield; I think the Royals didn’t want to come out and say the job was Cain’s because he has limited Major League experience and spent almost all of last season in Omaha. To Cain’s credit, he hasn’t taken anything for granted. He’s swung the bat very, very well and has been outstanding in the outfield, making another superb catch today on a deep drive by the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy. There have been plenty of opportunities for Cain to sulk or get down on himself since he joined the Royals, but his numbers have yet to show any evidence of sulking; he’s just gone out and made plays with his bat, legs and glove. I think Cain will hit for a decent average and show some pop in addition to stellar defense.